O-I glass plant closing has rippling effect throughout Waco community

Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 6:26 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) -The Owen-Illinois glass plant in Waco announced it is closing its doors permanently, aiming to close business on December 1st.

As a result, 300 employees are being laid off, but the effect of doors closing ripples throughout the community.

McLennan County Judge Scott Felton says he had “no indication that there was a huge problem.”

Felton keeps the families who have been let go in mind, saying “it is unfortunate,” but he is confident that the community will be able to “absorb this labor.”

Waco Mayor Dillon Meek agrees with Judge Felton, with Meek saying that the city and county will do “all we can to connect these families to good meaningful jobs in Waco.”

Non-profit Keep Waco Beautiful told us through email that they would be discontinuing their partnership with the glass plant.

At the beginning of the year a handful of organizations, one of them being O-I, formed the glass for good program which placed purple bins around Waco to make it easier for residents and businesses to recycle glass.

However, with the announcement of the glass plant closing, keep Waco beautiful says they will be removing three of those collection bins.

Because with the absence of O-I in their partnership it will make it difficult to sustain the bins.

Executive director, Carole Fergusson, says that the change is “disheartening.”

However, Fergusson says she and her team are “making the right decisions to step forward into how we can continue accessible glass recycling across Waco.”