OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Brittany Gianelloni spends a lot of time cleaning and organizing homes and businesses.
As she declutters, she aims to be as environmentally conscious as possible, but a recent change in Ocean Springs means she’ll have to keep glass out of the recycling bin.
“Knowing that Ocean Springs is going to remove that glass recycling program is going to hinder me because now, I have a feeling of when I throw that glass in the garbage, it’s just not a good feeling for me,” she said.
Mayor Shea Dobson said the decision to end the program came after the city’s garbage collection service, Waste Pro, discovered it was inefficient.
“It’s just the way the market is going is that the glass tends to contaminate the existing recycling goods, and it’s just something that they had to do,” he said.
Gianelloni hopes the city will explore alternatives.
“I think this should be a cause to go forward to find out how we can recycle it better, instead of just taking it away,” she said.
Dobson stressed it isn’t just an Ocean Springs issue. Glass recycling is struggling nationwide as the value of glass plummets. Other communities have already dropped glass from the list of acceptable items.
“I think we need to have an honest conversation about recycling and where it goes and what we can do to help get it better and get this industry back to where we want it to,” Dobson said.
In the meantime, Dobson said there is one way Ocean Springs can keep glass out of the landfill.
“It’s unfortunate, but we are an artistic town. So, maybe we can have some artists make some cool stuff from the glass or whatnot, but I’m confident that down the line, we can find other options and other ways of managing our glass,” he explained.
Waste Pro will continue to collect paper, plastics and metal as recyclable materials in Ocean Springs.