Recycled glass goes where? City looks to tap resource recovery

EUGENE, Ore. - The glass bottles you recycled?

Last fall, green Eugene learned most are ground up for road for materials or to help cover the landfill, not to create new glass containers.

That news rubbed some Eugene officials the wrong way.

Since that news broke, a brand new glass-to-glass recycling processor has set up shop in Portland to take over Eugene and Lane County's glass waste.

It's an outfit called e-Cullet.

"The benefit of e-Cullet coming to the community is it's going to expand glass-to-glass recycling in every community, including ours," said Kelly Bell, with Lane County;s master recycler program.

Now the Eugene City Council wants to go green and grow jobs: councilors asked Wednesday for a feasibility study on how to attract more recyclers, not just glass, to come to Eugene.

"I think there's a real good potential for this in Eugene, having recycle and having us be a recycling and resource-recovery hub," Councilor Alan Zelenka said.

With the right package of incentives, some councilors think the city can get a win, win, win: new business, more jobs, and more help for those in need.

"You could actually use this as a way to have people leave their cans here, and then the funds from the recycling could be donated to any number of human service agencies," said Councilor Chris Pryor.

Zelenka's motion passed 7-0. It reads:

"I move to have the City Manager bring back for Council approval the scope for a study to investigate the economic feasibility and job-creating potential of resources recovery and recycling new businesses in Eugene, including glass and plastic and other waste stream materials that have the potential to be supported by market prices. Include in the scope potential incentives and other actions the city could provide or take to entice such businesses to locate in Eugene."