Local News

Sep 13, 2013 7:32 PM by Lee Sausley

Glass Recycling is Easy and Good for the Environment

CORPUS CHRISTI - If you recycle at your house and you're serious about being green there's an opportunity to recycle glass tomorrow.

The City of Corpus Christi's recycling program currently doesn't accept glass on a regular basis. That's a shame because the glass used for food and beverage containers is one hundred percent recyclable.

It can be recycled endlessly with no loss of quality. What's even better is the process is cheaper than making new glass and is less harmful to the environment.

When glass is turned in for recycling it's cleaned, sorted by colors and then crushed into small bits called cullet. Using cullet is 80% cheaper than using raw materials.

The cullet is heated to about 2,800 degrees farenheit before being poured into molds to make new containers.

Since cullet melts at a lower temperature than raw materials it takes less energy than making new glass. The process reduces the emission of greenhouse gases like nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide.

The energy saved by recycling one glass container can power a 100-watt light bulb for 4 hours, or one of those compact fluorescent bulbs for 20 hours.

Every month Americans throw away enough reusable glass to fill a large skyscraper. But we're getting better. We now recycle about 30-percent of the glass we used to throw away just a few years ago.

90 percent of what we do recycle is used to make new food and beverage containers.

In many parts of the country there's a growing demand for cullet to make everything from fiberglass insulation to decorative glass tiles for kitchens and bathrooms.

The city will hold a glass recycling event Saturday, September 14th on Fortuna Bay from 9-am till 3-pm. Just be sure to have your glass recyclables sorted by color, plus remove all caps, lids and corks. Also have it boxed or in reusable tubs.

If you're wondering why we don't recycle glass here on a regular basis the answer is geography. We're so far from the nearest glass recycling facility that transportation costs eat any potential profit for the recycling companies.

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