Northwest Arkansas Council kicks off recycling program in Benton, Washington counties

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 0 views 

Springdale-based nonprofit Northwest Arkansas Council, in partnership with Epic Glass Recycling of Little Rock, has established a new initiative to increase glass recycling at restaurants, bars and liquor stores in Northwest Arkansas.

According to a Tuesday (July 9) news release, the program offers four months of free glass recycling to 50 businesses in Benton and Washington counties. Interested companies must sign up by Aug. 31 to participate. Link here to sign up.

Each company selected for the council’s new NWA Recycles program will receive glass recycling bins that keep the material separate from other recyclables and trash. The glass will be collected at the businesses at least once a week. Additional collections may be necessary based on volume.

NWA Recycles is a program of the Northwest Arkansas Council that aims to keep recyclables such as glass, food waste, plastics, and paper from landfills. NWA Recycles was launched in 2021 with financial support from Walmart.

“This glass initiative can ramp up what I personally want to see achieved in our community and throughout Northwest Arkansas when it comes to glass,” said Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse, who is chairman of the Boston Mountain Solid Waste District. “Epic is the right partner, and it’s able to make glass recycling easy and affordable for the businesses that participate.”

Participating restaurants and bars will recycle empty bottles and jars created by consumption inside the businesses. Meanwhile, collection bins at liquor stores will serve as glass drop-off centers, allowing customers to return empty bottles when they visit the stores. Epic Glass Recycling transports the glass to Little Rock, where it will be turned into lightweight foamed glass aggregate – a material made from 99% recycled glass. The aggregate is 85% to 90% lighter than traditional aggregates and is commonly used in construction and building projects.

Epic President Courtney Little said about 50 Northwest Arkansas restaurants, bars, breweries, hotels and nonprofits already work with Epic to recycle glass. The city of Fayetteville also has 46 participants in its business-focused glass recycling program.

“Glass is one of the easiest items to recycle because it can be endlessly recycled with no loss of quality,” said Lee Chalmers, NWA Recycles coordinator. “As we work to advance recycling in the region, we hope the selected businesses will continue recycling glass beyond the initial four months to keep it out of the landfill.”

According to the sign-up form, the estimated cost to participate after the first four months is about $50 per month.