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RE: [greenyes] URGENT! NZ Glass Recycling crisis


I am so distressed to hear about the anticipated price drop for glass in New
Zealand. This is the same situation that many U.S. recycling programs are
facing. In addition to the greater producer responsibility, container
deposit legislation and comprehensive waste legislation you mention,
another approach is to become less dependant on a monopolistic glass

One way to accomplish this goal is to focus on the development of the many
productive secondary markets for so-called contaminated glass. These uses
include insulation and what is known as glassphault -- asphault made
partially of glass cullet. Recycled glass sand performs better than natural
sand in filtration systems and better than gravel in backfill and stormwater
drainage systems. The use of recycled glass as a sandblasting abrasive
eliminates the problem of silica dust. Recycled glass is also used as
landfill cover, since landfills must be covered on a daily basis. There are
also plenty of artistic uses for glass, including reflective paint, marbles,
jewelry, and decorative tiles. Recycled glass terrazzo is a sustainable
building material with a promising future.

None of these uses alone is big enough to provide a market for recycled
glass on its own. So a well-organized secondary market strategy may be the
only thing that can save many U.S. glass recycling programs, and perhaps the
NZ one as well.

The recycled glass terrazzo application may serve as an example for how the
strategy might be developed. Durable flooring is what is needed in municipal
and other long-term asset buildings. If municipalities specify their own
recycled glass cullet in all new and renovated buildings, they can create a
market for a portion of their glass. If, as in the case of North Texas, the
concept catches on, recycling programs can see the use of the glass cullet
expanded to schools, hospitals, airports and private businesses throughout
the area.

This may not be much comfort since you are facing an economic crisis, but I
hope there will be some opportunity to discuss the longer term solutions.
Please keep me informed about your progress.

Patty Bates-Ballard
Public Relations Director
EnviroGLAS Products, Inc.

"Treat the Earth well. It was not given to us by our parents; it was loaned
to us by our children."  -Ecologist Lee Talbot

-----Original Message-----
From: Gary Liss [mailto:gary@no.address]
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 5:19 PM
To: zwia@no.address; greenyes@no.address
Subject: [greenyes] URGENT! NZ Glass Recycling crisis

Apologies for Cross-Postings

If you have any suggestions on how NZ can respond to these glass recycling
problems, please email Jo@no.address (Jo Knight, CEO, ZW NZ Trust).



>To: "Zero Waste Update" <the.editor@no.address>
>Organization: Zero Waste New Zealand Trust
>From: "Suzi Phillips" <the.editor@no.address>
>Subject: URGENT ! Zero Waste E-News Bulletin #16
>Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2004 12:05:06 +1300
>Dear Zero Wasters,
>Highlights of this Zero Waste E-news Bulletin are;
>? Glass recycling dealt blow by price reductions for cullett
>? Community groups also under siege from funding cuts and concern
>about steel can recycling
>1. Glass recovery and recycling in New Zealand has been dealt a blow
>by the country?s only major glass recycler.
>ACI Glass has a monopoly on processing large quantities of glass cullett
>from around New Zealand and has just announced major price drops effective
from January
> From that date the company will reduce the price it pays for all glass
> cullett from $92 per tonne to $75 per tonne.
>The company is also signalling a further substantial drop in the price
>paid for clear glass cullett (effective on May 1) from $75 per tonne to
>$10 per tonne.
>The price drops will have major repercussions on the economic viability of
local government and community group glass recycling schemes around the
country, says Zero Waste New Zealand Trust chief executive, Jo Knight.
>In the short term, contractors and community groups will be looking at
>renegotiating contracts with their councils.
> ?This will put the assurances made in the Packaging Accord to the
> test. Fifty per cent of councils in New Zealand signed up to the
> Packaging Accord on the proviso that it was not going to cost them more.?
>The Packaging Council is meeting to try and put in place some short and
>long term solutions, but they have a very short time span in which to work
>before the price changes come into effect.
>?This is a nasty surprise for all parties, and the short time frame means
>there is a need for interim co-operative solutions, such as collecting and
>land-banking glass in the meantime. This is a strong case for extended
>producer responsibility and/or container deposit legislation, in the New
>Year,? says Jo.
>This problem illustrates New Zealand?s vulnerability to market forces and
the real need for an adequately funded flexible infrastructure, including
over-arching waste legislation.
>?The worst case scenario is a breakdown in glass recycling in New Zealand
>with an increase in glass to landfill. Although glass is an inert
>material in a landfill, recycling glass is a behavioural change that was
>hard to achieve and it would be a devastating backward step, if that was
>lost," she says.
>Please email us with your views.
>Best Regards,
>Suzi Phillips
>Communications Co-ordinator,
>Zero Waste NZ Trust
>PO Box 33 1695
>Ph 09-486-0738

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

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