Recycling change in Fort Mill means no glass collection

A small, blue plastic bin residents can use to collect their recyclables shown outside a large, green dumpster used to deposit glass at the York County recycling center neat Baxter.
As of Sept. 1, Town of Fort Mill residents can not place their glass curbside for recycling pickup. However, they can bring their glass to one of the York County-run collection sites. Two of them are in Fort Mill. (MillTown News file photo).

FORT MILL — Soon, town residents who want to recycle their glass rather than toss their bottles and jars in the trash will have to go out of their way to do it.

Just as the City of Tega Cay did last year, the Town of Fort Mill is cutting glass out of the list of items residents can place curbside for pickup. Town residents can still take their glass to one of the two York County-run recycling centers in Fort Mill, or elsewhere in the county.

The change is effective Sept. 1, according to the town. This change only effects residents who live inside Fort Mill town limits.

Residents pay a fee to the town for curbside trash and recycling pickup. Like in Tega Cay, Fort Mill is arranging for a contractor to transport residential recycling, sans glass, to the county’s sorting and processing facility in York. The town’s contractor, Waste-Pro USA, is no longer accepting glass because it’s more difficult to process after it breaks down during transport, the town said in a statement.

According to the statement, “To reduce the costs associated with collecting and hauling recyclables, the town has made arrangements with York County for our third-party collector, Waste Pro USA, to take recyclables to York County’s facility beginning Sept. 1. The biggest change for customers is the removal of glass, which is due to the fact that during the collection and transportation process, glass breaks down and begins to damage and wear down machinery. As such, it cannot be co-mingled with other recyclables anymore. Customers will still be able to recycle glass by bringing their items to one of York County’s Solid Waste & Recycling Centers (Baxter Center at 1731 Highway 160, or Fort Mill East Center at 1390 East Hensley Road at Fort Mill Parkway).”

At one point, Tega Cay had cut its recycling program back to the point of accepting only mixed paper. However, earlier this year, a deal was reached with York County to take plastics, aluminum and tin. However, taking glass was not part of the arrangement, leaving residents to take their glass to a couple of collection points in the city as well as the county centers. One near Baxter Village in unincorporated York County between the Town of Fort Mill and Tega Cay city limits, is around two miles from Tega Cay.

Did you know?

If you can’t repurpose your used textiles, you can bring them to a York County-run recycling center. (Photo by Michael Harrison)

Among the many items – from cardboard, metal, electronics, cooking oil and furniture, to paint and household trash – people can take to the York County collections sites are textiles. Clothes, shows, accessories and anything made of fabric can be deposited. That’s not new, but some recyclers may not be aware. Recently, facilities Baxter made the textiles container more visible.

“The centers have accepted textiles for recycling for many years, but we recently changed to a different vendor and they suggested placing the containers in more visible areas,” Leslie Hatchell, recycling educator/coordinator for York County, wrote in an email.

“There are collection containers at all sites except at the temporary site in Fort Mill.  The new Fort Mill site will have a container.  Items collected are sent to a sorting facility where they are graded. Useable items are sent to Third World countries for reuse, or sold to thrift stores, and unusable items are shredded to be used for things like insulation,” Hatchell wrote.

Hatchell, however, also said in the email that the county collecting textiles is not an ideal practice. Repurposing locally would be better, she said.

“We suggest that residents donate usable textiles to local charities or share with a friend. The textile recycling at the centers is one last effort to keep items out of the landfill,” Hatchell wrote.

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