No market for recycled glass bottles

Dangerous when broken: Irresponsible parties have dumped glass bottles at a neighbourhood playground in Seri Kembangan, Selangor.

PETALING JAYA: Due to low demand for recycled glass, recycling operators have stopped collecting glass-based material from the public.

A recycling centre in SS17 Subang Jaya said it no longer accepts glass bottles and jars as there are no manufacturing companies in the Klang Valley that process them.

The centre’s operator, who only wants to be identified as Norzilawati, said the only factory that will accept glass material is located in Johor, which is too far in terms of transport.

“It would cost a lot just to transport the materials from Selangor to Johor while the market price for glass bottles is very low compared to plastic bottles,” she said.

Norzilawati, who took over running the centre from her late father, said the market price for glass bottles could go as low as 10 sen per kg.

She added that there are still residents who come by to drop glass material at the centre although they no longer take them.

“We informed them that we are not collecting as it poses a hazard as broken glass could be sharp and the workers could get cuts,” she said.

Norzilawati urged the authorities to address the issue as most glass bottles would pile up at recycling centres or end up at the landfills instead of getting recycled.

Another recycling centre operator in Desa Tun Razak, Cheras, also said it is not collecting glass bottles.

Raj Tilaq Nair said his centre only accepts cardboards, plastic materials, electronic items and scrap metal as there is demand for them compared to glass bottles.

“The market for glass bottles has gone down sometime back. These days the manufacturers prefer plastic bottles as they are cheaper compared to glass bottles,” he added.

The public, however, said the refusal by recycling centres to take glass has caused them inconvenience. Hence, they have to find creative ways to repurpose glass bottles for other use at home.

A Petaling Jaya resident, known as Tham, said it is hard to find any recycling centre in her area that collects recycled bottles.

The 59-year-old homemaker said she ended up piling the bottles at home while some were repurposed for other use.

“I reuse the bottles as flower pots,” she added.

Data analyst Christine Ong, 25, from Sungai Buloh, Selangor, said she reused some bottles as temporary flower pots and as drinking water containers.

“It is inconvenient because we don’t have recyclable bins for glass in my condo.

“Currently, I have no choice but to dispose glass material with other waste although I’m aware it’s not good as it would end up at the landfill,” she said.

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