Suggestions Wanted: What to do with Recycled Glass?
Did you know that glass is the only recyclable material that can be infinitely recycled to make new glass products?
I am asking for suggestions from all of you, and this blog is a request for help. I was contacted by a past customer and current volunteer for a local non-profit asking for suggestions. I’m now asking you, the reader, for help in answering her question.
Nashville, Tenn., has curbside recycling for almost anything except glass. Individuals must take their glass recyclables to a public recycling center. A local non-profit, Justice Industries will come to your home and get the glass recyclables twice a month for an annual fee of $121. Justice’s glass recycling business is called Just.Glass. Most of the glass is beer, wine, liquor and condiment/sauce bottle and/or jars. Just.Glass takes the glass to the public recycling centers.
Now the plea for suggestions: What can Just.Glass do with the glass other than take it to the public recycling center?
Justice Industries wants the suggestions to be sound business suggestions. Justice Industries is focused on creating businesses “that provide jobs opportunity, training and support for those caught in the trap of generational poverty or chronic under-employment.”
Some previous suggestions have centered on craft uses for the bottles such as making them into lamps. This is too labor intensive and, as we glass people know, the percentage of success in drilling bottles is low.
Another suggestion has been to establish a small bottling plant that could sterilize the bottles and redistribute them to craft or home brewers. The jars could also be sterilized and redistributed to home canners/bottlers. Is this practical or even affordable?
Glass is used in road pavement. How can these recyclables be sold to those pavers or asphalt plants? Are they interested in, as compared to large public glass recyclers, the small quantities Just.Glass will provide?
Phillip DeFranco said, “A good man fights for himself and his; A great man fights for everyone else.”
Think creatively. What are your suggestions? Your ideas are needed. Thanks for your help.
Bill Evans is president, Evans Glass Co., Nashville, Tenn.
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.