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[greenyes] to recycle or landfill glass...how about neither?
the debate over whether to recycle or to landfill glass misses out on one of our prime directives BEFORE recycling, which is to re-use materials in their highest and best use when possible.    why not take advantage of all the troublesome properties of glass (heavy, color seperation, bale contamination) and re-use it as an environmentally responsible substitute for gravel (which needs to stay in the streams/rivers/quarries from which they're currently extracted) in the application of a road base, fill material and/or sand for filters at biotic wastewater treatment plants?  with this goal in mind, the city of fayetteville (arkansas) has been awarded a grant to purchase a glass pulverizer so that we may begin converting commercial glass waste streams into a money-saving gravel/fill alternative for our municipal street/parks departments.  before we applied for the grant, we conducted an in-house audit on how much we spend for gravel and sand...you would be amazed to know how much money (in our case, several thousand) your government is spending to extract/purchase a fill material (gravel/sand) while also paying to landfill a perfectly good base material.  it's crazy.    anyone else out there working on similar projects?  i no longer work for our city's solid waste and recycling division, but they're in the process of launching a pilot project and i'd love to help support their progress with your suggestions/tips/advice!    cheers,melissa terry   

Andy Telfer <cwma@no.address> wrote:Dear recyclers,

GLASS is a problem. Glass is heavy. Glass markets are more and more just a 
second use as opposed to closed loop. Glass is inert in the landfill. 
Glass, in single stream programs, contaminates other materials.

It's no wonder many recycling collection operations are considering 
removing it from the recycling stream. And why not? People occasionally put 
rocks & dirt in the garbage. Is glass different?

Let's look at the big picture. If we have to make a choice between 
recycling organics or recycling glass, I say spend the money on backyard 
composting promotional programs, or curbside chipping & collection.

I'm a dedicated recycler, so I want to recycle as much as possible. But 
just because we've recycled glass in the past doesn't mean we have to 
continue, especially when faced with tough financial choices. Is glass 
recycling lower priority than other materials? I put the question to you.


Andy Telfer
Executive Director, Coast Waste Management Association
FALL CONFERENCE October 22-24 Victoria, BC, Canada
www.cwma.bc.ca
PO Box 85, Qualicum Beach, BC, V9K 1S7, CANADA
tel 250-752-8293 fax 250-752-4487 


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