Friday, February 17, 2012

Raw Material and Dumpsters

I have been recycling cardboard from my work. If I notice when the delivery truck comes in I try to get between the boxes and the dumpster. I keep some boxes to use for packing and transporting. I use some of the boxes for organizing things, and I cut some of them up for raw materials and take the others to the recycling drop-off. I am amazed at the sheer volume that is used and discarded.

I have also become aware of the amount of glass that is almost never recycled. It is incredible. Apparently unless there is a profitable alternative or a disposal cost, many local businesses and institutions aren't interested in doing anything except tossing these things in the dumpster.

I've been researching glass recycling on-line, and there is equipment to turn glass into the equivalent of sand, a rather basic raw material. The machine costs from about $10,000 to $40,000. Not something I can just ask for at Christmas, but a municipality or county could purchase. And someone will, as soon as it benefits them personally enough. Ah, the old self-centric at work.
Wouldn't it be nice to start a co-op to buy one. We could develop some jobs and make the world a little better, or just use the profits for ourselves (and other worthy causes) and still make the world a little better, and create and enlarge fewer landfills.


  1. When I take my recycling to my school, I always sigh a sad sigh when I am forced to throw the glass away :(
    I didnt know it was so expensive to recycle glass! Maybe someone, some day will buy us one?!!!

  2. Shawnna, on the Pepsi grants page there was a community competing for a grant to get glass recycling equipment. How cool!

  3. Probably someday we will be mining landfills for the raw materials buried there. Who knows perhaps in a landfill is as good a place as any to store the stuff until it becomes economically feasible to recycle it.

  4. You may well be right Ron! At least about the mining site anyway. About it being a good place, I don't know.