Roeland Park discusses state of city’s glass recycling and exploring a curbside service

The closest Ripple bin to Roeland Park residents is at the Mission Hy-Vee, 6655 Martway Street. Ripple is looking for a new location to place a bin in Roeland Park — potentially at Aldi’s, 4801 Roe Lane.

The Roeland Park city council earlier this month discussed what the future of glass recycling looks like for the city, including a curbside glass recycling service with Ripple Glass.

Previously, a big, purple Ripple bin sat in the Lowe’s parking lot for residents to drop off their recycled glass. Mayor Mike Kelly said the bin had to be removed due to contracts and policies outside of Roeland Park’s control. Ripple’s Metro Program Manager Morgan Henderson said the company loves servicing Roeland Park and is actively looking for a new spot to place a bin so residents can pick back up where they left off.

“That bin [sat] in the Lowe’s parking for nearly 10 years and you diverted over 4 million pounds of glass,” Henderson said. “Roeland Park is not huge, but you guys act huge — especially when it comes to recycling.”

One option Ripple is hoping will work for a centralized bin is placing it in the Aldi’s parking lot, Henderson said. The store director — who said many residents have expressed wanting to see a glass recycling bin there — told Henderson he is completely on board as long as corporate is, she said. Another option previously discussed was the former The Rocks parking lot, but Henderson said that is not ideal as it can attract unwanted dumping.

Additionally, Henderson said corporate entities associated with the businesses in Roeland Park may be hesitant to agree to it because it’s seen as a liability issue. But, Henderson said Ripple assumes as much liability as humanly possible, and that local store directors and employees have all been supportive of glass recycling bins in parking lots.

Currently, Ripple does not offer curbside glass recycling. Kelly asked Henderson and her colleague, Commercial Program Manager Piercyn Charbonneau, if Ripple would want to explore the idea of curbside services and what that would potentially look like. Charbonneau said Ripple has been looking into it as a number of cities across the Kansas City metropolitan area have been interested in a curbside service. Additionally, Charbonneau said Roeland Park would be a great place to pilot such a program.

Councilmember Benjamin Dickens said he likes the idea of exploring curbside glass recycling and asked whether it would be an opt-in program or a blanketed program all residents would pay for. Charbonneau said Ripple has decided an opt-out system would be the best option and would result in better participation. Councilmember Jennifer Hill asked about the type of bin Ripple might use, and Charbonneau said based off of previous discussions, it would be a 32-gallon bin with wheels and a lid.

Kelly asked, if the city council wanted to explore curbside glass recycling “at a 10-foot view” going forward, what the timeline might look like and if Ripple could provide some financial and logistic information upfront before going through formal processes. Charbonneau said he would love to set up a meeting soon to go through the options and numbers.

The city council did not take any formal action during the city council meeting regarding glass recycling.