Wish-cycling sends needed glass to the 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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Facility Condition Report

The report is prepared in accordance with the recommendations of ASTM E2018-15, Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments. This is a partial list of contents:

    • General condition of the building, grounds, and appurtenances
    • Physical deficiencies, their significance, and suggested remedies
    • Photographs
    • Safety issues observed
    • Potential operating efficiencies
    • Electricity and water use reductions
    • High-efficiency interior and exterior lighting
    • Recommended interior finishes
    • Construction costs

Risk Mitigation Improvements

  • IAQ
    • Airflow
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    • Settings
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    • Placement for social distancing
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Interior Elements

  • Foundation
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    • Access and egress
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  • HVAC equipment and ductwork
  • Utilities
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  • Safety and fire protection

Grounds and Appurtenances

  • Façades or curtainwall
  • Topography
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  • Paving, curbing, and parking
  • Flatwork
  • Landscaping
  • Recreational facilities
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AWARE of CDC and NIH guidelines

The Baseline Property Condition Assessments described in ASTM E2018-15 do not specify consideration of infectious disease transmission concerns. In a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, that inspection and documentation is essential.

Buildings open to the public must comply with local regulations. For best results and greatest public acceptance, any planning for building repairs and maintenance should not overlook current CDC and NIH guidelines.

Optionally, ecoPreserve's can assist with a comprehensive GBAC STAR™ Accreditation which extends beyond the building to include the goals, actions, equipment, and supplies needed to implement best practices for outbreak prevention, response, and recovery.

An OPTIMIZED Assessment

Certified Sustainability Consultants on a facility assessment team can discover ways to lower energy costs. Their understanding of HVAC equipment suitability and condition along with the specifics of LED lighting retrofits can provide offsets for needed investments in upgrades and replacements.

Knowledge of water systems can bring further savings while averting water waste. It can all be part of an assessment which might otherwise overlook water fixtures and irrigation schedules.

How should a facility be ASSESSED?

A thorough facility assessment finds the issues - on the surface or below - which have a potential negative impact on the building. That brings the facility to meet building codes. Beyond that, the assessment proactively addresses the deficiencies not covered by code.

The occupants of a building benefit as the assessment reveals conditions having a potential impact on their health or safety. The assessment must not overlook those conditions, nor fail to consider the frequency and duration of occupant visits.