"Glass on the Run"
What is a rural community supposed to do? They
want to collect and recycle glass, or at least give the members
of the community an opportunity to drop off glass for recycling.
The volumes are not huge but the glass is heavy and transporting
it to some distant processor can be costly. A group of communities
in Montana and Virginia came up with an innovative solution.
They got a mobile glass pulverizing system and now they are
processing glass on the run.
The glass is accumulated on site and the mobile
glass processing system, that is owned and operated in a cooperative
manner by several municipalities, is set up at the different
sites to turn the pile of broken glass into fine sand and gravel
aggregate. For example, Shenandoah, Page, Warren, Clarke and
Frederick Counties in the state of Virginia will work together
to process their glass into a sand-like aggregate which will
replace a gravel material whose costs has increased to about
$15 per ton. This is used as a drainage material in the construction
of pipe bedding, collection layers and other applications requiring
a good gravel material for drainage applications.
Montana is a big state! Creative processing
and uses for glass recycling is absolutely necessary. Brian
Spangler program manager, Montana Department of Environmental
Quality started “thinking outside the box” some
time ago and had a vision for securing the funding and cooperation
between several municipalities to bring mobile glass recycling
to the state of Montana. Brian Spangler’s program formed
a partnership with the Montana Department of Transportation
(MDT). The MDT changed their specifications for road base which
will allow ten percent 3/8 inch minus glass aggregate to be
added to the road base and a pilot project is scheduled for
the spring 2005 at Montana City Interchange. In addition, the
3/8 inch glass aggregate has been used of pathways in the Helena
This will change the way glass is collected
along with public perception providing the quantum shift in
how glass is viewed, collected, and processed. The glass pulverizing
unit is color blind and can even take ceramics and make them
into something useful with value. No need to sort by color.
To have your own “glass on the run”
system, it may take some planning. It is advisable that one
entity have primary responsibility for mobile glass pulverizing
unit since it only makes sense that a system with many moving
parts has a plan for care and maintenance.
What communities are going to be next? As the
news spreads, other small town and cities will want to check
out this mobile solution. The recycled glass will turn into
something new and interesting. Is it sand? Is it sparkly gravel
aggregate? Just tell them its recycled glass processed by a
special process…”Glass on the Run.”