A new downtown initiative is trying to change the way you’re served beer. Athens-Clarke County’s Recycling Division is implementing a glass bottle reduction program.

Ripped bags, broken bottles and costly maintenance for recycling machinery are all reasons to reduce glass bottles in Athens, while saving bars and restaurants money.

The new program hopes to incentivize bars and restaurants downtown to stop using bottles that are dangerous and instead switch to aluminum cans.

Shaina Gryctz, an employee at The Office downtown, said she thinks the program has many benefits.

“Not only does it save money, but it’s better for the environment,” she said.

And while the environment was a definite concern for the program, the biggest was public safety.

“I mean a glass bottle can be a weapon,” said Bart Mingledorff, a deliverer who works for Leon Farm & Company.

A bar owner initially came up with the idea in order to reduce the number of bottles and bags. Bar patrons leaving late at night might not see bags on the street, and could easily hurt themselves.

The program encourages interested bars and restaurants to identify their five most purchased domestic beers and move toward cans.

All they have to do is fill out a form and submit purchase invoices to receive a discount on their beer license.

Bars and restaurants received fliers and forms in the mail about the program, and there is a meeting next Wednesday at Cutter’s Pub at 1 p.m. for those interested.

By Janie Bohlmann



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