Wish-cycling sends needed glass to the landfill

Landfill
Glass cullet

Glass cullet

Only a third of the 11 million tons discarded glass in the U.S. is recycled. If clean, most of it could be crushed into cullet particles, blended with sand, soda ash, and limestone, then melted to be reformed new glass containers. Instead, much of it is crushed and used as day cover at landfills.

In Europe, the glass recycling rate is as high as 90%.[1]

U.S. glass makers are limited by the supply of clean, furnace-ready cullet particles. That may be caused by recycled glass being contaminated with food, paper, cigarette butts, or other items. Light bulbs, plates with food scraps, and other “wish-cycled” items can soil otherwise clean glass. When that happens, only 40% of the glass can be ground into clean cullet.[2]

News and Notes items accompany the longer articles found in ecoPreserve’s newsletter, Sharing Sustainability. Several issues of the newsletter can be previewed here.

[1] ACS.org — Chemical and Engineering News
[2] GPI.org — Glass Packaging Institute

Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

Sustainability Specialist at ecoPreserve, LLC
LEED AP O+M, CAPM, AHERA Asbestos Inspector - - Driven by creating positive change in the world, Justin uses his project management and consulting expertise on sustainability-focused projects throughout the Central Florida area. His BSBA in Integrated Business from UCF and technical credentials empower his work focusing on LEED certification and zero waste projects with healthcare and public university clients.

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