City of Lufkin announces glass recycling will now be allowed

LUFKIN, TX (AP) - All week we have been revealing new and fun ways the City of Lufkin has been preparing the community for America's Recycle Day and now that day has come and with it a big announcement.

After years of not allowing glass recycling, the City of Lufkin has said yes to glass.

"We're real excited about recycling glass so that we can keep the landfills clean of glass," said Sarah Lowery, a Dyslexia teacher at St. Cyprian's Episcopal School and a recycling advocate.

Steve Floyd, the Public Works Director for the city, says one of the biggest questions they get is why the city doesn't recycle glass.

"There's been no market for years and years and we were fortunate to find a vendor in Houston that would accept glass," Floyd said. "This is something that Lufkin used to recycle years and years ago and the market fell out an they quit so it's something that the citizens have asked about for some time."

In fact, Floyd says it's a real break even process for the city. Every citizen that recycles a glass jar or bottle will help Strategic Glass Recycling out of Houston make a new bottle or jar.

"They take the glass and they break it down and they make bottles and jars out of it again and they also use an agent from it for sandblasting," Floyd said.

Lowery says recycling is very important in her family because it teachers her son's Grady and Sawyer about responsibility.

"You might as well take responsibility for our Earth and to keep our Earth clean and do our best for the environment," Lowery said. "Definitely paying attention to what paper we use and throw away, how we can use certain things, paying attention to plastic and we don't see a lot of glass here, but we can at least educate the students on it."

10-year-old Grady Lowery says his family has a trash can in every room and he thinks recycling is good for the environment.

"It's good to do and it helps your community because if you litter it kills nature," Grady Lowery said.

8-year-old Sawyer Lowery says he's learned a lot about recycling at home and at school.

"We figured out that if we recycle cans we can power our TV for a full hour," Sawyer Lowery said. "I think it's really good for the environment and everybody should recycle."

According to the Environmental Protection Agency in 2011 alone, 41 percent of beer and soft drinks were recycled. 34 percent of wine and liquor bottles were recycled and 15 percent of food and other glass jars were recycled. In total, 34.2 percent of all glass containers in the U.S. were recycled, which is the equivalent of taking 210,000 cars off the road each year.

However, the glass won't be picked up curbside because of safety issues.

"The reason being is because it's glass. This has to be handled by people so if it breaks it's sharp for people to handle," Floyd said.

So, if you have glass you would like to recycle the best thing to do is to take it to the Solid Waste and Recycling Facility at 500 South park Drive. There is a glass only recycling bin available 24 hours 7 days a week for public use.

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