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Alpharetta to decide glass recycling issue



ALPHARETTA, Ga. – It’s been building for some time, but Alpharetta residents who have been stockpiling glass for recycling may soon see some relief.

The City Council is set to arrange a contract Sept. 11 with Republic Services to begin regular curbside pickups sometime in the coming weeks.

In 2016, Republic notified the city that it would no longer accept glass items mixed in with regular household recyclables. It offered to continue glass recycling as a separate service with a separate bin. The issue was to have been resolved in late June when the city was poised to agree on a monthly rate of $3 a month for separate curbside pickup.

But city officials said at an Aug. 28 City Council meeting that it had been pursuing a plan, introduced late in negotiations, to reinstitute glass recycling mixed in with regular recyclables. That plan proved unsuccessful.

“We have kicked this thing around so many directions,” Councilman Dan Merkel said. “To think this has taken so much time, so many suggestions for $3 extra a month and an extra little tub in your garage, it amazes me that we’ve got to this point.”

Councilman Jim Gilvin agreed.

“I’ve had more constituents ask me about this over the past three weeks than about anything that’s going on in the city,” he said. “I would suggest we move forward.”

Under the current proposal offered by Republic, Alpharetta’s 16,000 households would be charged $3 per month for weekly pickups of glass recyclables. An alternate plan would charge residents $2.39 per month if the service was offered every other week. Monthly pickup would cost $4.50 per household.

There was some debate among council members as to which plan would be most suited for residents, but comments generally favored weekly pickup to avoid any confusion among residents.

Councilman Chris Owens suggested bi-weekly pickups would reduce wear and tear on city streets, but he was in agreement that a contract had to be signed soon.

“I’ve been asked about this more than just the last three weeks,” he said. “Neighbors and good friends have given me a hard time about it. It’s time for us to do something.”

An online survey conducted earlier this year showed that residents were split fairly evenly on options for glass recycling. Options the city had studied included discarding glass with the trash, establishing a central collection site or sites for residents to bring their glass or instituting regular curbside service.

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