RE: [GRRN] Energy Savings from Recycling Glass

Diamond, Craig (
Tue, 9 Feb 1999 15:13:01 -0500

In real energy terms, electricity 'costs' about 3.5 times as much per KWH
(heat) equivalent of fossil fuel. That is, unless these numbers have already
accounted for the embodied fossil fuel in electricity, the collection and
shipping costs are really about a third (as electrical equivalents) those
posted. That would suggest even greater savings by going with recycled
versus virgin materials - or you could simply ship it a hell of a lot
Craig Diamond, Chief - Environmental Planning
Tallahassee - Leon County Planning Department
300 South Adams
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Phone: 850/891-8621; FAX: 850/891-8734

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 1999 1:21 PM
To: multiple recipients of
Subject: [GRRN] Energy Savings from Recycling Glass

Dear Greenyesers,

We did an energy conserved by recycling vs. energy generated by
analysis a few years back as part of Ontario Hydro's 25-year
energy plan , including transportation energy to send the
recyclables to
market. The study appeared (after peer review) in slightly
abbreviated form in
The Journal Of Hazardous Materials (Elsevier Science, Amsterdam) in
a special
issue on incineration, Vol. 47 (1996) pp. 277-293. An earlier
version appeared
in Resource Recycling, Nov. 1992.

The energy savings from using recycled glass instead of the batch
mix of sand,
sodium carbonate (soda ash) and calcium carbonate (limestaone), is
on average
over 3100 kilojoules per kilogram or 260 kilowatt hours per ton.
The energy
to collect and process a ton of recyclables (net of energy saved on
collection and transfer) is well under 300 kJ/kg or about 20
Shipping a ton of recyclables one mile by truck requires an
electrical power
equivalent energy of less than one kilowatt hour (the study was for
electrical energy analysis, so everything is stated in terms of
energy equivalents, which is different than energy calculations on
the basis
of intrinsic energy value, but gives the same conclusions). So you
can send
your ton of color-sorted, recycled glass about 240 miles by truck.
On the
other hand if you ship by rail you can go 4 to 5 times further, or
around 1000

All in all a considerably less pessimistic assessment of glass
recycling then
the case presented by Helen Spiegelman.

Jeffrey Morris
Sound Resource Management
Seattle, WA


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