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2024 MRN/SWANA Mid-Atlantic Annual Conference Recap

HomeRecycled Glass: Trash or Treasure

Recycled Glass: Trash or Treasure

July 25, 2023 (webinar)

Being both expensive to ship and of relatively low value compared to, for example, aluminum, glass has been a difficult material for recycling programs to manage. On Tuesday, July 25, we gathered to get the scoop on some options that may work for your locality.

First up was Susan Davidson, Business Operations Manager for Fairfax County’s Solid Waste Management Program, who gave us a glimpse into the County’s Purple Bin program, a glass-only recycling program that has been a win in terms of both participation and a major reduction in contamination in their single stream program. (Download pdf of slide deck)

In 2019, Fairfax County stopped accepting glass in their single-stream recycling program, requesting that residents reuse glass containers, bring them to purple, glass-only recycling containers located throughout the region, or as a last resort, place them in the trash. The goal was to reduce glass contamination in the recycling stream.

At the heart of the program is the Purple Can Club which established designated glass-only drop-off centers. Davidson noted that determining the right drop-off locations (convenience for residents) as well as using the right containers (i.e., specifications inc. type, hole size/position/cover) was important to the success of the program. Once collected, the glass is ground into an aggregate (stone material) or sand, which can then be recycled. Learn more about the program.

Next up was Patrick Grasso, senior partner at Urban Mining Industries, who introduced to Pozzotive®, a ground glass cement replacement made from post-consumer glass, which is a safer, more sustainable, local, and higher performing material. Plus, it is low carbon, more environmentally friendly, and creates a circular economy for glass recycling.

Pozzotive® can use virtually all available waste glass as it does not require color segregation, ceramic removal, and a minimum cullet size. The process also offers a solution for previously unusable recycled CRT panel glass, window glass and porcelain ceramic fixtures.

Grasso outlined the Pozzotive® process as well as where and how the material is currently being used as well as the company’s plans for the MD/VA/DC market. Learn more about Pozzotive.

Listen to the full conversation below.

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