New Glass Recycling Options Explained


Since the Mt. Lebanon Commission approved a new five-year contract for solid waste and recycling collection last year, Mt. Lebanon residents have been asking questions about what their alternatives may be to recycle glass, which was removed from the single-stream recycling collection under the new contract. At the Monday, January 7, Commission discussion session, staff and commission continued the conversation regarding options for recycling glass.

“Residents are saying, and I agree, ‘it feels like we should be doing something,’” said Commissioner John Bendel at the meeting.

Planner and Assistant Manager Ian McMeans and Public Works Director Rudy Sukal, along with other staff members, researched the issue and presented the commission with two proposals received from outside contractors: a curbside pickup option and a scheduled collection event option.

RoadRunner, a recycling company that specializes in business recycling, is pioneering a new curbside pickup service, and has offered to use Mt. Lebanon as a test market. RoadRunner will contract directly with residents who opt in to the program, for an estimated monthly cost of $13 to $18 per household. The catch? They need buy-in from at least 25 percent of Mt. Lebanon households, approximately 3,000, before they can begin the program.

Participating households would receive a 14-gallon container for glass, and RoadRunner would collect the glass bi-weekly.


The second option, offered by the Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC), would consist of glass collection events in a number of communities within the South Hills Area Council of Governments area. Depending on the frequency of events, this could cost the municipality anywhere from $750 to $1,250 for every event hosted in Mt. Lebanon. Residents could bring their glass to any of the PRC events, not strictly the ones in Mt. Lebanon.

“It would be similar to electronic recycling events,” said McMeans. “PRC would provide the containers and run the events. We would just need to find a location.”

This could be problematic in 2019, Municipal Manager Keith McGill pointed out, as the most convenient site for recycling events, at the public works facility at Cedar Boulevard and Lindendale Drive, will be inaccessible for most of the year because of the renovation project going on at that location.

“We could possibly partner with the school district to find somewhere,” McGill said.

At the meeting, the Commissioners decided to  continue the discussion of recycling options at their next meeting, Tuesday, January 22, so they could consult with members of the Environmental Sustainability Board, which next meets on Thursday, January 10.

The Commission is also interested in hearing resident feedback on the different options presented at the meeting. An online survey has been developed and is available here.

You can see the commission discussion session and other televised meeting online.