Friday, March 22, 2019

Glass remains a municipal waste stream challenge


Glass sculpture at Tinkertown Museum near Sandia Park, New Mexico

One material in the waste stream remains a challenge: glass. It takes enormous amounts of energy to melt and millions of yards of earth to disturb every year to mine the silica used in its manufacture.

Japan recycles nearly 100% of her glass but the US has thousands of mountains of glass cullet from the municipal waste stream waiting to be repurposed.
The Santa Fe Solid Waste Management Agency Joint Powers Board is considering a contract amendment that could cost in excess of $200,000 a year for an Española trucking company to haul most of the glass collected here to the Momentum Recycling plant in Broomfield, Colo., between Denver and Boulder. The Momentum company, however, is less strict in accepting glass, accepting loads that have up to 25 percent nonglass material, such as plastic and paper that make it into the glass deposit bins. [Santa Fe New Mexican]
According to NPR reports and other sources the Earth isn't producing sand fast enough to keep up with the humans. We sell millions of tons of salvage material to India and Asia to be recycled while tearing up our own ground mining for virgin minerals while steel and plastics, that could be petroleum, are buried in landfills.

If hydraulic fracturing has to occur why not divert and mine waste glass from landfills for frac sand instead of ripping up the Earth for new sources of quartz?


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