City plans to build glass recycling storage bunker

Following the approval of a $100,000 grant for glass recycling, Kirksville’s Community Services Department is working to set a time frame for the construction of a glass recycling bunker that will comply with the Solid Waste Management Fund grant planning requirements.

City staff received confirmation of the grant during December 2014 and began planning for the construction of a bunker to house the glass adjacent to the public works complex. While city officials hoped to construct the bunker by fall 2015, the bunker will not be completed until sometime next spring.

The fund was established to help finance landfill alternatives and will pay a portion of the costs of building the structure, to which the city will also contribute $35,000, according to a Feb. 18 press release. The release also stated that the responsibilities of the Solid Waste Management District include planning requirements for the bunker and the administration of allotted funds.

Community Services Coordinator Sarah Halstead said she hopes the program will be operational by next spring. She said Kirksville residents interested in glass recycling will be able to purchase — for a fee of $10 or less, which will depend on the level of community participation in the program — a glass recycling tote for curbside pickup. Halstead said Advanced Disposal will pick up the glass once per month.

Halstead said Truman also plans to collect glass recyclables that will be picked up by Advanced Disposal. She said there will be an alternate drop-off location for residents and students who do not wish to purchase the tote. There will be a scheduled drop-off time and location for residents of surrounding counties that will coordinate with the Hazardous Waste Program. Halstead said there also has been some interest in putting a glass recycling dumpster in the downtown area, although there are no solid plans for that yet.

Halstead said the new program will have a small economic impact for the city in general and could increase job stability for collection truck drivers. The glass in the bunker will be sold to Ripple Glass, a glass recycling program out of Kansas City, at a dollar per ton. Public works employees will load the glass onto the Ripple Glass trucks.

“It helps with job retention,” Halstead said. “It may even produce more jobs in the area.”

The goal of the program is to decrease the amount of materials going into landfills. Halstead said they have been working closely with the Department of Natural Resources to make sure every aspect of the project adheres to the department’s regulations and there is no contamination of the collected glass.

“The big thing is we just want to try to do everything we can to be environmentally friendly as well, and help our citizens to be environmentally friendly,” Halstead said.

Halstead said the city will begin advertising the new program through press releases and Kirksville Connection publications — which are distributed with water bills — once the recycling totes are available for sale.