Recycling glass is going commercial; it isn’t just the individuals who are recycling. Many bars, night clubs and restaurants are recycling glass now. Some states make it mandatory for bars and restaurants to recycle because recycling makes for a huge reduction in the trash that goes to the landfill. In Colorado Springs the Dahl Recycling Company has contracted with more than 60 restaurants and bars to sell the recycled glass to the Coors Brewing Company; the glass plant at Coors makes new beer bottles out of the recycled glass.
Bottling companies that produce bottles for beverages are much more cost efficient when they produce bottles from recycled glass. Recycling glass saves tons of natural resources from being consumed to make glass bottles. Glass is made of soda ash, sand, limestone, and other ingredients added for color. For instance chromium is added for green color, and cobalt is added for blue colored bottles. Iron is added for brown. Boron is added to make glass tempered for heat.
Why should we bother with recycling glass? We should all be concerned with recycling because making glass from recycled glass (cullet) makes the glass less expensive to produce. The savings can then be passed onto the consumer. Depending on the state you live in you can get paid to recycle your glass. You may be asked to pay a deposit on the beverages you purchase in glass bottles, but when you take those glass bottles to a recycling center you will get your deposit back as a refund. It is a win-win situation. You get paid and the bottling companies that use the recycled glass to manufacture new glass bottles saves money and natural resources.
Recycling is helpful to the environment, because for every ton of recycled glass 1.2 tons of raw materials have been preserved. Recycling saves tons of glass that would otherwise be thrown into the landfills. Glass is not actually harmful to the environment, but it isn’t biodegradable. Unless glass is recycled it will stay in the landfills forever taking up space.
To get an idea how recycling glass helps the environment you must think about the raw materials. To make glass from scratch the raw materials must be extracted from the earth. Then the raw materials must be transported to the manufacturing companies that manufacture glass.
Next is the process to make glass from the raw materials; through the heating of these raw materials fossil fuels are burned and greenhouse gases are released into the environment during the melting process. Let’s not forget the electrical energy that is used to manufacture glass. The manufacturing plants must run on electrical power, and the furnaces that do the melting uses over 8611,000,000 k Watts of power per year.
The cost of making glass from recycling glass cuts the expenses way down. It takes much less heat to melt recycled glass to make new glass bottles than it does to make glass from raw materials, therefore the cost of energy will be reduced to just a fraction of what the cost of heating raw materials.