Colorado Glass Recycling Sees Resurgence in Technology and Sustainability

End of Waste Foundation

Nikolas Zelinski
Public Relations Manager
End of Waste Foundation
nikolas@endofwaste.com

 

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Over two million pounds of glass has avoided Colorado landfills in July and August thanks to a partnership between the End of Waste Foundation (EOW), Rocky Mountain Bottling Company and Momentum Recycling. The collaboration that began in June effectively creates a sustainable and circular economy in the glass industry in order to tackle a recurring issue in Colorado.

Despite having a reputation for being a green state, Colorado’s recycling rate is nearly half of the national average and 4.2% of landfill waste is composed of glass. The primary factors in driving the low recycling rate include inconveniences for consumers and unavoidable economic realities. China stopped accepting the world’s recyclables in 2018 and Colorado is one of 40 states without bottle deposit laws. Glass often represents a net loss for many material recovery facilities (MRFs). The value of clean recyclable glass is only $35 per ton, while it costs about the same to haul, sort and clean the material for processing.

However, the EOW™ Blockchain Waste Traceability Software (BWTS) creates a pathway towards efficiency and transparency within the recycling industry. In order to offset costs and incentivize glass recycling, EOW promotes a “Distributed Shared Responsibility” (DSP) model that puts product manufacturers, distributors, retailers and citizens on the same level.

Environmentally conscious businesses and consumers can contribute to a certificate-based system. After a consumer throws their bottle into a recycling bin, the BTWS model begins its cycle:

→ MRF inputs quantities of sorted glass to be delivered to the processor.
→ The processor validates quantities & reports glass cullets shipped to the manufacturer.
→ The manufacturer validates quantities & reports recycled glass quantities to EOW.
→ A Glass Certificate encapsulating all the data is created.
→ EOW makes the verified quantities available in the marketplace.
→ Sustainable businesses and citizens contribute to receive a glass certificate to offset their carbon footprint.

Within two months, the EOW platform tracked and recycled 1348 tons of glass. However, the overall goal is increasing average recycling rates in the United States from 33% today to 85% by 2030. Reaching this goal amounts to saving 4.6 million tons of glass from landfills and represents a 1.6 million-ton reduction in CO2 emissions per year. The reduction in CO2 emissions is akin to taking 313,470 passenger vehicles off the road per year. This process has already begun in Colorado, Utah and in Missouri with Ripple Glass.

Founder and CEO of EOW, Ionut Georgescu said, “In 1960 the recycling rate hovered at 6% and in 2019 the national average is at 33%. If we continue at this trajectory, it would take us more than 100 years to achieve our goal of an 85% recycling rate. We believe our independent and self-regulated system helps fulfill the goals and needs of all stakeholders involved, including consumers. Our partnership with Rocky Mountain Bottling Company and Momentum Recycling puts us on a sustainable path to a healthier planet.”

About End of Waste Foundation: End of Waste Foundation is a Public-Service Corporation with the mission to collectively contribute to the reversal of our climate crisis by increasing recycling and investing in a circular economy that engages the world in a shared responsibility of waste management. End of Waste helps conscious organizations and consumers reach their goals and objectives of sustainability by boosting recycling through technology.