It’s not every day that Bitterrooters get the chance to have their glass waste recycled without having to drive to Missoula. In fact, it’s about one day per year. It is only thanks to the continuing efforts of Ravalli County Recycling that our next chance is even coming up, so you don’t want to miss it. The glass recycling event is scheduled for Saturday, April 17 at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds in Hamilton from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The recycling event will take place at the north end of the Fairgrounds and can be accessed by entering the north gate located on Old Corvallis Road. You pay $1 per gallon bucketful or $5 per five-gallon bucketful to have your glass recycled and help save the planet by reducing what is deposited into our local landfills.
Montana has not yet established a glass recycling infrastructure, and there are no bottle manufacturers in the state to melt and reuse our glass. Recycling Works in Missoula collects, crushes, and stores glass locally and then ships it down to Momentum Recycling in Salt Lake City. Momentum is the closest processing facility with the means to efficiently create and use aggregate.
“They do a fantastic job of separating and sorting glass so it can be turned back into bottles and products like home insulation and sandblasting material,” said Ted Geilan of Recycling Works. “We are also happy to support local projects that utilize our glass for reuse purposes.”
According to organizer Pam Aikins, Ravalli County Recycling volunteers will be on hand at the Fairgrounds to process the glass being dropped off in a drive-in/drive-out scenario, so you don’t even have to get out of your vehicle. Unbroken glass bottles of any color are accepted. No caps, corks or lids are accepted but labels can be left on the bottles and the bottles should be clean. No food residue is allowed. Types of bottles accepted include wine bottles, beer bottles, spirit bottles and clean food jars. No other kinds of glass are accepted. No broken glass. No window glass. No light bulbs, etc.
Aikin said that you don’t have to bring the bottles in a plastic bucket. A burlap bag or other container could be used, and the cost would be estimated.
CDC guidelines for social distancing, masking, and sanitizing will be followed.
Ravalli County Recycling hopes to make this a quarterly event.
Michael Howell can be contacted at [email protected] or (406)239-4838.