Jac's
 
 
VBC Video
"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
Online Edition
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
Volume ∞ Issue ∞
 

Recycling 101


By LaVerne C. Paulson

Fri, Jun 7th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

By LaVerne C. Paulson

Each of us has, more than once, cleaned up broken glass from a bottle or jar. It is not a pleasant task with all those little chips and shards that are produced during the shattering. However, we continue to purchase food in glass containers, but most likely not because we enjoy the challenge of a broken container now and then. There is an excellent chance that most of the food items you purchase in glass containers are also be found in metal containers, but many of us prefer the purer taste of food from glass. A lot of us also like to see those jumbo stuffed olives, sauerkraut, and cute baby dills prior to purchasing.

Some historians believe the Mesopotamians were creating a form of glass around 3500 BC. That’s a few years before the invention of plastic. As long as there is sand, we have the raw material for glass, but perhaps we shouldn’t use any more of it than necessary. We must make every effort to recycle as much glass as possible and keep it out of the landfill.

Food and beverage glass is 100 percent recyclable. Glass can be recycled over and over with no loss of quality to the new product. Glass beverage bottles and all jars that have contained food such as pickles, spaghetti sauce, jams, jellies, olives, or sauerkraut are recyclable. The machine in the Twin Cities that strongly dislikes plastic bags wrapping around its shafts and gears, separates recyclables as they proceed down a conveyor belt. As I have mentioned before, this machine is more than capable of separating different colors of glass. After the glass has been separated by color, it will be crushed into a material called cullet.

Once crushed, the glass cullet is mixed with sand and melted in a furnace to create molten glass. It is then recast into new food and beverage containers. The clear glass is used for new clear containers, the green for new green containers, and of course, the amber glass is used to make new amber containers. Much of our glass is recycled at Anchor Glass Company in Shakopee. Broken glass is sometimes crushed into small pieces and mixed with asphalt to cover our state’s roadways. Some very creative people are making attractive holiday ornaments, garden art, and even some fashionable jewelry from recycled bottles.

However, please keep in mind, not all glass is recyclable. Ceramic cups, window panes, canning jars, mirrors, incandescent light bulbs, crystal drinking glasses, dishes and ovenware, including Pyrex glass are landfill garbage. These are not recyclable due to their color or their melting points. For the safely of your garbage collectors, neighbors, and pets, please check with your hauler before throwing broken glass into garbage bags or just stacking it on the curb.

Recycling one ton of glass saves 1,330 pounds of sand, 433 pounds of soda ash, 433 pounds of limestone, and 151 pounds of feldspar. This saves more than one ton of your natural resources. With all the deserts on the earth, there is a very slim chance we will ever run out of sand, but the recycling of glass reduces related air pollution by 50 percent over making glass from raw materials, as well as 25 to 32 percent of the energy used to make glass for the first time. Today, thanks to you, most bottles and jars contain at least twenty-five percent recycled glass.

Comments:







Your comment submission is also an acknowledgement that this information may be reprinted in other formats such as the newspaper.



2895

7:10:46, Jun 13th 2013

chipperlee says:
Seems to be a well written article, except maybe Silica Sand is used in making glass.
When Ford was making cars in Highland Village, St Paul MN they had their own Silica Sand mining area close to the plant.
It also seems there was a Brockway Glass Works near Rosemount, MN and we used to recycle glass there.

Thanks,

chipperlee


Fillmore County Pork Producers
Hoffman Stables