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[GreenYes] Outlet markets for glass, milk cartons, aseptic

I'm working with my town (in Massachusetts) to boost recycling options and recoverable fractions, and had a few questions I was hoping some of the people on this list could weigh in on.

1) Glass. I learned that all of the cullet collected by one of the main recyclers in this region is crushed and used as drainage in landfills. It is not made into new bottles or other items.

-Any views as to whether this even counts as recycling, and whether it is a net environmental gain given the extra washing, handling, and hauling the glass goes through?
-The recycler spoke of pilot projects to convert mixed cullet into new brown glass bottles. Any sense of how close to commercialization this process is?
-Any systems to auto sort broken cullet by color? Are these economic?

2) Milk cartons. I'm getting conflicting information on the disposition of milk cartons and other rigid bleached paperboard containers. One group, including the recycler, says these materials are shipped to paper mills and repulped no problem. Another group, including a different recycler, says some recyclers (not him of course) add milk cartons to bales in order to increase the mass, but that they are not actually used as a new fiber source on any regular basis. Any experience?

3) A similar issue exists for aseptic containers. My sense is that virtually nobody is recovering these, and inclusion in bales would not mean these are actually being recycled. Opinions?

Many thanks for your insights.


Doug Koplow
Earth Track, Inc.
2067 Massachusetts Avenue - 4th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02140
Tel: 617/661-4700
Fax: 617/354-0463

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