Dear Recycle Lady: Thursday, June 10 - West Virginia Daily News
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Dear Recycle Lady: Thursday, June 10



Hi Recycle Lady,
My biggest conundrum with recycling is the apparent absence of options for utilizing green and/or brown glass bottles. Although they cannot be “recycled” into new containers is there not some way they can be utilized? I’m not talking about putting them in walls or gardens, but on a large scale. Can they not be crushed and returned to a “sand” state and used as fill? I am probably not giving up wine or beer in the near future and being able to “do something” with the empties would make it so much tastier. I buy cans when available, but… — What Do To
Dear What To Do,
Have you considered calling Greenworks Recycling? (304-661-7793) They are proud to be one of the last glass recyclers in West Virginia. Greenworks is unable to provide glass collection for free as processing glass is very expensive. Two plans are available for collection. One of the plans is a monthly fee of $14 for the biweekly collection of recyclables in the Lewisburg area. The other plan is payment of a flat fee of $25 to come pick up glass at your location, as well as all other recyclables. Greenworks must charge for this service as they must pay their buyer to come pick up the glass and take it to the processor. The processed glass is then sold to several buyers, the largest of which is Pink Panther insulation. According to › glass-recycling in the U.S. is broken. There seem to be several reasons for this. One of the biggest reasons is that 80% of U.S. communities use single-stream recycling where all recyclables are put in the same bin. This method doesn’t work very well when glass is included as glass containers often break causing shards of glass to be mixed with other recyclables.
Hopefully, manufacturers are looking for ways to improve the recycling of glass as glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly with no loss in quality. Deposit laws have improved glass recycling and states with deposit laws collect three times as much glass as states without deposit laws do. However, this rate doesn’t begin to match the 90% rate of glass recycling by European Countries. Perhaps our legislature should consider a deposit law for glass bottles and containers.

Dear Recycle Lady,
I use a sponge to wash dishes every day, but now they say that this is not a good thing to do. What are sponges made of that make them a poor choice. — Dishwasher
Dear Dishwasher,
Sponges were first used some 2.5 billion years ago, according to and were made from sea sponges. They came in many shapes and sizes and were the very first animal. Ancient Greece competitors in the Olympic Games bathed themselves with sea sponges soaked in olive oil. Today, most all kitchen sponges are made with plastic. They hold water, which breeds bacteria and can spread germs. There are plastic-free, planet-friendly, sponge alternatives — made of coconut. They’re perfect for pet dish scrubbers too. Over 400 million sponges that are made of plastic are thrown away every year and take centuries to break down.

Have questions about recycling, or interesting information about recycling? Send questions or requests to . Dear Recycle Lady is sponsored jointly by the Greenbrier Recycling Center and Greenworks Recycling.

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