Bedford Borough Council has said that in 2020/21, 3,465 tonnes of ‘high quality’ glass was collected from over 50 mini recycling sites across the borough.
According to RecycleNow, each time just one tonne of glass is recycled, about 580kg of carbon dioxide is saved through the supply chain.
This would mean that in just one year, Bedford Borough residents have saved over 2 million kg of carbon dioxide by dropping their glass off at local bottle banks.
‘High quality’ sorted glass can be recycled and back on shelves as new bottles and jars within a few weeks.
At this time, the Council does not collect glass at the kerbside. It said that if glass was mixed in with other recycling it would result in lower quality glass and would cost the Council more to get it processed.
Adding that any separate collection would require new waste vehicles and so increased emissions from the new collection across the Borough.
The Chronicle asked if these increased emissions where in addition to those generated by residents travelling to bottle banks, or if it would just be an increase on the Council’s emissions.
A spokesperson said that there isn’t a reliable way to estimate the emissions generated by the public travelling to bottle banks.
And added that it advises people to not make special trips to recycle glass, and where possible to combine their trips with another errand.
Cllr Charles Royden, portfolio holder for environment, said:
“I would like to say a huge thank you to our local residents for recycling nearly 3,500 tonnes of glass locally. Glass is 100% recyclable and can be endlessly recycled with no loss of quality- this makes it a hugely valuable item to recycle.
“By recycling glass we can reduce non-renewable fossil fuel use, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
“It’s really important that glass is kept separate from black bin waste and from other recyclables to allow us to recycle as much as possible, and help us all to do our part for the environment.
“If glass gets mixed into the normal kerbside recycling your orange bin will not be collected as it will reduce the quality of other items such as paper for recycling, and broken glass is a safety risk for staff who hand sort recycling.
“This Recycle Week – starting on 20 September- we are all being asked to ‘Step It Up’ and we are celebrating the efforts of local residents to recycle and do their part to waste less of our planet’s natural resources.
“Recycling is small, simple but important habit that most of us already do to fight climate change. We are looking forward to the awaited publication of the Government’s waste strategy, with details about future recycling requirements and funding to ensure local councils can help their residents to recycle more.”
Mini recycling site for glass in Bedford Borough can be found at Mini Recycling Sites.