Recently, Resource Recycling reported on the failure of Pace Glass. A company that promised to build a $90 million glass facility to sort and clean up post-consumer glass. While a great idea, the venture failed. The result is stockpiles of more than 300,000 cubic yards of material that now needs to be cleaned up.
This failure demonstrates the difficulties in recycling as a whole, but mostly the difficulty in recycling glass. Simply put, glass has limited value because it is based on abundant, easy to get raw materials and costs far too much to ship long distances for recycling. Thus, without post-consumer glass manufacturing nearby, it is hard to recycle.
Glass has a good deal going for it however. It does not contaminate the food that it contains. Even if it is necessary to dispose of it, it is benign since it is fundamentally sand.
Of course, it should be recycled…and when recycled it saves energy…but the lesson is simple…If a promise sounds to good to be true, it likely is.
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Pace Glass, which had $90M processing plans, goes bust