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Letter to the Editor

Alpharetta should reconsider glass recycling decision



Alpharetta City Council should reconsider adding a fourth bin/truck for glass recycling as it has many negative environmental impacts: 

1. Noise pollution

2. Air pollution (burning hydrocarbon fuel)

3. Global warming (higher CO2 emissions)

There is also increased wear and tear on roads and traffic congestion. Many do not have room in their garage for another large wheeled bin. Strength, age and health will preclude many from carrying a small hand-held bin to the curb. A dropped bin of glass would be a safety disaster and cleanup nightmare if the lid popped open. 

Neither of these options is viable. Let’s more efficiently use what we already have. Designate the first week of the month for only glass recycling and the remaining weeks for “all other” recycling. The total recycling volume hasn’t changed, so our current wheeled bin and (third) truck should handle it. Most residents can handle accumulating two weeks of “all other” recycling and four weeks of glass with no overflow problem. Neighbors should agree to use each other’s open bin space if their own bin is occasionally full. 

This proposal requires garage space for a cardboard box to store recycling not going into the bin that week, And, remembering to switch where you toss items the first week of the month. But no option on offer is perfect. This proposal requires no more trucks, no more pollution, no more traffic, no more bins to store and haul up/down the driveway, the least additional garage space, and no more cost to residents.

Acknowledging the negative impacts of a fourth truck, it is not an environmental win to handle glass this way. In this case “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” means REUSE the wheeled bin and third truck we already have — just more efficiently.

– Jenny Corbin, Alpharetta

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