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Economic Development

Posted on: May 27, 2021

County Announces Pilot Program with Owens-Illinois

James City County and Owens-Illinois logos in black on purple background

James City County is pleased to announce a new pilot program for glass recycling in partnership with Owens-Illinois (O-I). The program will establish glass-only recycling containers at several locations throughout the County. The glass collected in these containers will be taken to the O-I Toano plant in the Hankins Industrial Park and processed into glass cullet, which is the material needed to produce new glass bottles. Recycled glass can be substituted for up to 95% of raw materials. For over 100 years, O-I has manufactured glass from natural materials: sand, limestone, soda ash and recycled glass. Since 1980, Owens-Illinois has produced glass in James City County.

“O-I is proud to be part of James City County for more than 40 years. Living and working in the area, we see a great opportunity to positively impact the planet and our shared community by ensuring access to glass recycling. Glass is infinitely recyclable, and it becomes even more sustainable by using recycled glass to make new glass,” said Jim Nordmeyer, VP of global sustainability for O-I. “As we work together to improve glass recycling in James City County, we’ll also work together to improve our shared community. As glass is collected for recycling in James City County, O-I will be making ongoing donations to the United Way to be used locally.”

O-I is donating the bunker for storage of recycled glass and four collection containers. The collection bins will be 10 yards each and purple, a color that is quickly becoming synonymous with glass-only recycling. O-I will make a charitable donation to the United Way based on the amount of glass that it receives from James City County. This pilot program has no additional cost implications to the County.

Glass can still be placed in curbside recycling carts. Technology is always improving; however, the most efficient method of recycling glass is through a process where it is not contaminated with any other materials. When glass is collected through the curbside program, it breaks during collection, transport and the unloading process, which mixes with other materials making it a challenge to separate and achieve successful recycling of all glass.

“James City County has a long tradition of glassmaking with glass first being made here in 1609,” said County Administrator Scott Stevens. “For more than 40 years, Owens-Illinois has manufactured modern glass in James City County building upon the long tradition of glassmaking.”

“On behalf of the Board of Supervisors, I am pleased that glass continues to thrive in James City County and I hope our citizens will contribute to creating a circular economy by separating their glass and dropping it off into purple bins,” said Supervisor Sue Sadler of the Stonehouse District.

Empty and rinsed glass of all colors can be placed in glass-only containers including alcohol and other glass beverage containers, food jars (baby food, fruit and vegetable containers, soy sauce and spaghetti sauce) and other glass. Clear, blue, green and brown glass are all accepted. Labels, lids and bottle caps can remain on containers, but can be recycled separately as metal and plastic. Things that cannot recycled are light bulbs, Pyrex, mirrors, windows and ceramics/pottery.

An additional announcement will be made once the purple containers are available for use.

If your business or organization would like to facilitate a smaller glass-only container, please contact yesjcc@jamescitycountyva.gov.

About O-I

O-I is proud to be one of the leading producers of glass bottles and jars around the globe. Glass is not only beautiful, but it is also pure and a completely recyclable material. Headquartered in Perrysburg, Ohio, O-I is the preferred partner for many of the world’s leading food and beverage brands. O-I is committed to innovation in line with its customers’ needs to create iconic packaging that builds brands around the world. O-I hopes to increase the recycled content in their glass manufacturing to a 50% average by 2030. Led by a diverse team of more than 25,000 people across 72 plants in 20 countries, O-I achieved revenues of $6.1 billion in 2020. Learn more about O-I online on their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

James City County Media Contact:
Kathryn Sipes, Assistant Director of Economic Development
757-253-6607; kate.sipes@jamescitycountyva.gov

Owens-Illinois Media Contact:
James Woods, PR Lead for North America
James.Woods@o-i.com

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