Fargo eliminating glass from the recyclable materials it collects

February 14, 2023

FARGO (KFGO) – The City of Fargo will stop accepting glass as part of its residential all-in-one recycling program starting March 6.

“There’s a poor market value for glass, the weight, it’s obviously the heaviest commodity in comparison to plastic bottles or cardboard boxes, transportation trucks that haul the material down to Minneapolis where the material recovery facilities are, glass is 10-20% of our total volume, so just that extra weight of that with the fuel prices,” City Recycling Coordinator Jenn Pickett told a special informational meeting of the city commission.

Pickett also said when the city’s compactor trucks collect and crush the material, shards of broken glass become a contaminant to other recyclables, effectively eliminating all of the materials’ future value.

The city will still accept glass at its 20 drop sites and reuse it locally. “In 2018, we opened an inert site at the landfill which basically separates non-organic material like wood, construction debris from typical household waste, City Solid Waste Director Scott Olson said. “So within those inert cells that we developed, we can actually take the glass collected at drop sites, crush it and utilize it on top of our leachate collection system so we don’t have to purchase sand and we beneficially get to reuse the glass that is brought to the recycling sites,” Olson concluded.

A representative from MinnKota Recycling said the city will save 12% in processing fees by eliminating glass from the program.