Glass Recycling in Alexandria
Effective January 15, 2020, customers who receive City recycling service must bring glass containers to one of the region’s “purple bin” drop-off locations to ensure the glass will be recycled. As in other area localities, glass placed in curbside trash or recycling carts will not be recycled. Glass taken to a purple bin must be clean and empty.
Due to issues that include recycling contamination; rising recycling costs; and a lack of regional glass-sorting facilities; glass collected in curbside recycling by City contractors is ending up as trash in landfills. One of the action items in the City's WasteSmart Strategic Plan adopted by City Council earlier this year was to review the City’s position on glass and make a recommendation to continue the program or remove glass from residential curbside recycling.
The global recycling market has experienced tremendous pressure over the last few years, and cities across the country are changing their handling of glass recycling, which has become both difficult to recycle and a significant expense. Based on these findings, the City is changing its approach to glass recycling to ensure the greatest environmental benefit.
Glass Drop-Off Bins
In May 2019, the City partnered with other local jurisdictions and installed special glass-only bins at all Recycling Drop-Off Centers to improve the recyclability of glass. There are currently 40 regional bins, with five in Alexandria including a new bin at MOM's Organics Market (3831 Mt. Vernon Ave.). Glass separated at these centers will be hauled to a processing plant in Fairfax County to be recycled into new glass bottles or crushed into gravel and sand that can be used in local public works projects.
The drop-off centers are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Locations in the City of Alexandria
Glass Bottles and Jars ONLY
- All colors are accepted
- Preparing your materials: Empty and rinse, labels can be kept on, metal lids and caps are accepted
Materials Not Accepted
- Do not bag glass
- No plastic liners
- No plastic bags or plastic wrap (return to retail)
- No lamps or bulbs (use Household Hazardous Waste Center at 3224 Colvin St.)
- No miscellaneous glass (ceramics, porcelain, mirrors, windows, pyrex, or glass sheets
- No Food or liquid (empty and rinse)
As the markets change and develop, what is and is not recyclable may change. The City of Alexandria's Recycling Program will work to keep you informed about what is and is not recyclable.
Mailers & Translations
The City's Glass Recovery Program is one of the first short-term action items to be implemented as part of the City’s WasteSmart Strategic Plan, a roadmap that will guide the city’s refuse, recycling and organics collection for the next 20 years. Visit the WasteSmart page to learn more.