PSC Commissioners Echols & Shaw Launch High School Glass Recycling Contest

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023

On a day when glass in Georgia is going into landfills taking up valuable space, Public Service Commissioners Jason Shaw and Tim Echols are launching a creative contest for Georgia High School students on October 1, 2023.

For the month of October, high schools are competing around the state to collect clean glass.  Parents and communities are encouraged to help as these schools compete for cash prizes and an award ceremony at Zoo Atlanta.

Echols and Shaw created the idea while visiting Arglass, a Georgia glass manufacturing facility in Valdosta.

"Landfills are expensive to maintain and operate," said Echols.  "To fill it with glass takes up valuable space and ultimately costs consumers more money."

High schools will gather glass, separate it by color, and then deliver it to a collection point at the end of October.  The glass will be weighed and trucked to Valdosta in an electric Kenworth box truck.

"As a high school leader myself, I participated in a similar contest sponsored by WSB radio in 1978," said Echols. "I am hoping this event will provide inspiration as well."

Echols, long a supporter of Student Council leadership in Georgia, said the schools have to come up with a plan to do this on an ongoing basis.

"Arglass is an important facility in Georgia and they can play an important role in glass recycling for the entire state," said Shaw. "I am proud to help jumpstart this effort."

Shaw, who lives in the Valdosta area, said Arglass is a state-of-the-art facility with the ability to process as much clean glass as can be delivered there.

Former United Parcel Service Sustainability Director, Elba Pareja-Gallagher is working closely with Echols and Shaw to eventually scale up this program.

"Glass recycling is something we can all participate in," said Pareja-Gallagher. "We are excited about helping the next generation of leaders see its importance."

Georgia Natural Gas is sponsoring the Awards ceremony at Zoo Atlanta on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 with free admission for 10 students from each school as well as two advisors.  There, the top 10 schools will be awarded with checks for their participation.  The Coca-Cola Company is supplying specialized containers to ship the glass safely.

Schools wanting to participate need to sign up with Commissioner Echols as soon as possible.  Glass collected will be delivered to McDonough, GA or Arglass on November 1, 2023.  A caravan of electric vehicles will deliver the glass, including a Kenworth electric box truck, supplied by MHC Kenworth.

For more information, contact Faith Henning at [email protected]