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Corpus Christi now accepting glass recyclables

Jun 21, 2023

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The City of Corpus Christi is reentering the glass recycling business, which they had discontinued in the early 2000s.

3NEWS spoke with a bar manager and a restaurant owner about their recycling practices. They stated that they simply throw their recyclables in the trash.

This is because the city lacks a recycling program to handle items like glass, which would comprise the majority of their potential recyclables.

LaPlaya by the Bay, a downtown restaurant renowned for its Mexican cuisine and cold beer, faces the challenge of disposing thousands of beer bottles every week. Co-owner Zeke Hinojosa expressed his desire to recycle them.

"As far as recycling. There are no options for that right now, so we just throw everything away in the dumpster. We sell tons of beer," he said.

Hinojosa added that he never utilizes his recycling bin despite paying for the city's service. Once again, the bulk of his recyclables consists of beer bottles, which the city refuses to accept.

Over at Vernon's, numerous patrons enjoyed cold beverages on Thursday afternoon. Bar Manager Rizia Stokes informed 3NEWS that if the opportunity arose, their establishment would readily recycle their assortment of used glass bottles.

"Glass bottles and glassware could be recycled. But again, the city doesn't offer anything like that. So, we don't have anything viable for us to use in that regard. So it just doesn't happen. Again, it just all goes to the landfill," she said.

3NEWS discovered that not all glass will be sent to the landfill in the future. The city has plans to construct a new solid waste office complex, complete with a bottle crushing facility.

"We want to put a glass crusher in," said City of Corpus Christi Assistant Director of Solid Waste Paul Bass. "So, the plan is, which could be a couple of years down the road before we get constructed, is to be able to crush glass."

Bass told 3NEWS that the J.C. Elliott transfer station along the Crosstown extension is now accepting glass.

"So, right now we’re not doing much with it. We’re just waiting for that opportunity to crush it," he said.

Corpus Christi resident Richard Paz visited the transfer station to dispose of an old air conditioning unit. 3NEWS inquired about his thoughts on the city's decision to resume glass recycling after discontinuing it in 2005.

"Actually, it's really good news because glass is one of the most easiest things to recycle, and so it's a lot easier than plastic," he said.

The city is currently not sure if it's going to set up a new collection system to pick up glass from residents and commercial businesses. It might decide to have everyone bring their glass bottles to the transfer station.

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