Did you know that nationally and locally, 75% of all glass ends up in landfills? Here in Coeur d’Alene, we throw away approximately 250 tons of glass per year! Some of us diehard recyclers collect our glass bottles and drive them over to Spokane, where we ask a friend to include it with their curbside pick-up.
But even in Spokane they are collecting it- just to throw it in their own stockpile with the hopes of finding a cost wise use for it. Except for one road project and a few experiments, however, the mound has mostly grown. The main pile of mixed colored glass, collected at the curb in Spokane, is 15 to 20 feet high and larger than a football field.
Tired of watching glass fill up their trashcans week after week, a group of highly energized and green minded volunteers have come together to create the Coeur d’Alene Glass Recycling Company, a non-profit 501(c)3 partnering with the Kootenai Environmental Alliance, dedicated to reducing the amount of glass being thrown into the local landfill.
Leading this charge are husband and wife duo Ben and Melissa Mello, “We are run completely by volunteers. Our members will need to pay a small annual donation fee which will be used to cover our lease and maintenance expenses. Our pulverizing machine will crush glass into “cullet” which has no sharp edges and can be used in a variety of different ways, from construction backfill to landscaping to counter tops. Our goal is to have as much of our cullet material as possible used locally here in North Idaho. We will be ready to begin collecting and recycling glass in March 2013!”
If you would like to sign up to become a member or to volunteer – visit cdaglassrecycling.org to find out more. Initial membership is limited, so be sure to sign up as soon as possible!
Why Recycle Glass?
●Burying perfectly good glass in the landfill wastes all the material, energy, and labor that went into making it.
●Using recycled glass produces 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than creating new glass (or fiberglass) from raw materials.
●Every ton of glass that’s recycled results in more than one ton of raw materials saved. That’s 1,300 lbs. of sand, 410 lbs. of soda ash, 380 lbs. of limestone, and 150 lbs. of feldspar.
●Recycling just one glass bottle saves enough electricity to light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours. (Imagine how long it would light a compact fluorescent!)
●A six-pack of recycled beer bottles produces enough fiberglass insulation to fill a standard wall cavity.