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Waste Management/Recycling Pop Bottle Glass


Dear sir,
Back in the mid 1970s, my best friend's family operated a small soda pop bottling plant in my hometown in mid-Michigan. One day, his father hired a small number of us to travel with them in a pannel truck filled with empties to a local landfill and pitch them all out. I challenged him, asking why they could not be recycled, but I don't recall the explanation. These small "Vess Cola" bottles were slightly green tinted like the old small Coke glass bottles were. All the rest of the family's bottles were larger clear glass and they continued operation into the 1980s.

My question is if you could speculate on WHY those bottles would not have been recyclable if clean and organized in cardboard cases? Would two truckloads of these empties (some broken off course) would now be worth pursuing in that landfill (assuming that it is still open and the location could be pinpointed.
Thanks for engaging me in this trip down memory lane.


Thank you for the message and story.  Quite honestly recycling in the 1970s was not what it is today.  There were relatively few areas to recycle glass at the time and there was a much larger burden to recycling.  In fact curbside recycling did not start until the 1970s and it started slowly after the City of Berkeley started the first program.  Back then you would have had to find a specialty place to recycle glass, and they were not very prevalent.

In all honesty it would be very hard to recover those bottles.  They have probably been buried over and over or broken by now.  Though some landfill operators have started recovering materials from their landfills.

Thanks for the question!

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Brian F


I am knowledgeable in recycling, waste management, resource conservation, natural resources management, and environmental management. I specialize in linking these areas to the social sciences. Additionally, I have extensively researched recycling from the community perspective.


I have several years experience in the recycling, waste management, natural resources, and environmental management.

Master of Science in Natural Resources Management.

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