A day after Owens-Illinois announced the closure of its Waco facility, Keep Waco Beautiful said its Glass4Good recycling partnership with with the company will also end. The city of Waco, however, will continue to accept glass at the Cobbs Recycling Center.
“This plant’s closure, which has been a vital partner in our recycling efforts, leaves a significant void in our glass recycling initiatives that we are actively trying to fill,” Keep Waco Beautiful Executive Director Carole Fergusson said in a statement Thursday.
Owens-Illinois announced Wednesday it will end production Oct. 16 at its Waco plant on Beverly Drive, and the plant will shut down completely in December.
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Fergusson said the Glass4Good partners will work to ensure glass already dropped off a the program’s purple bins around town will get recycled before the plant ceases operations.
The city of Waco will continue to accept glass at its Cobbs Recycling Center, 4201 Trice Avenue, Waco solid waste director Kody Petillo said. Cobbs operates from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
Glass is not allowed in the city’s residential curbside recycling pickup program, and Glass4Good expanded the number of drop-off locations available for glass.
Petillo said Glass4Good, which launched locally in January, has been fairly successful and he “hopes it can continue, maybe in a different format, maybe under a different name and with different partners.”
Keep Waco Beautiful does not yet know what its glass recycling efforts might look like moving forward, but remains optimistic, Fergusson said.
“We want to reassure the residents of Waco that we are dedicated to finding a solution that allows us to continue glass recycling efforts in our community,” Fergusson said in the statement.
She said Keep Waco Beautiful will provide updates on its plans as soon as it more information.
Glass4Good is nationwide initiative of Owens-Illinois and it began in Waco on Jan. 19 as a partnership among the local glass factory, Keep Waco Beautiful and the United Way of Waco-McLennan County. The local United Way received a percentage of value from all of the local Glass4Good recycling to support programs aimed at health, financial stability, education and safety.
Glass collected through the program went to the Owens-Illinois plant, where it was ground into cullet to be used in producing new glass products.
The first of the program’s large purple bins to collect glass was placed behind the Stay Classy Waco wine bar at 723 Austin Ave. Three other bins have since been added.
Owens-Illinois Glass has not said whether its 300 Waco employees would be offered work at other locations, with 70 such facilities around the globe. Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas and the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce are beginning coordination with the glass plant and other area businesses to help Owens-Illinois employees who will lose these jobs find new work or job training.