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Recycling glass not economic option ... yet

Post Time:Mar 08,2012Classify:Industry NewsView:319

We get it. Recycling glass is not cost productive for those in the business. Thus, no beer bottles and such are to be placed in our blue recycle trash bin. But let's keep in mind there are uses for glass discards. And on those we should focus until such time our ingenious ones come up with alternatives to using landfills.


Pulverized glass is now being used in some parts of the country as bedding for underground pipe runs. It provides a good, solid base; it helps guard against sagging, and thus bursting.


It can be used for landscaping projects. Weeds won't grow in crushed glass.


But this is small-scale, and we can understand why Friedman Recycling says its not practical on the larger scale. Also, New Mexico State University was a participant in a study that showed the weight of glass makes it too expensive to transport. Also, crushed glass (cullet) has a low value, thus selling it would be unprofitable. Oh, and hardly anyone wants to buy it, as inexpensive as it is.


As one example, according to a recycling column by Suzanne Michaels, if we loaded one semi-truck with glass, and sent it to the glass-accepting company in Denver, it would cost $2,887 to sell 20 tons for $300.


And that's not the worst deal. In Phoenix, Strategic Materials will give us $6 for every ton of glass we haul over. That 20 tons we took to Denver? If we took it to Phoenix, we'd get $300.


So back to the think tank on that. Perhaps there's a break-through, some new use we have yet to discover?


But just the idea of people wishing they could recycle glass means we, as a society, are adopting the "think green" attitude. We are realizing that just burying our discards can't last through too many future generations.


The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that 5 percent of this nation's waste stream is made up of glass. That doesn't sound like much, but it is.


Glass, unlike some other types of garbage, does not decompose. Well, it decomposes - but not for an eon or two from now. It's not like the grass clippings from mowing an entire back yard turning into a small handful of compost in just a few weeks time. It's not even like those plastic grocery bags that get squished smaller and smaller as the garbage truck dumps on new layers of refuse.


We actually see no real bad news in this situation about not recycling glass at this time. We see the bright side of the issue. And that is, we've recognized we have to do something about it. It wasn't too long ago we hadn't figured out that recycling paper can be both profitable, and eco-friendly. Now we're turning to glass. Let's clink our glasses and have a toast to finding ways to make used glass eco-friendly, too.

Source: www.lcsun-news.comAuthor: shangyi

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