GRN Recycle Talk FAQ

From: Fred Friedman (FRIEDMAN.FRED@EPA.GOV)
Date: Mon May 10 1999 - 10:49:20 EDT

Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 10:49:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: FRIEDMAN.FRED@EPA.GOV (Fred Friedman)
Subject: Re: Glass recycling

May 10, 1999

The main ingredients in glass are silica, aluminum, and feldspar, calcium carbonate and small amounts of e.g. magnesium and potassium oxides. Resources involved are sand, metals, energy, and colorants.
Recycling happens much like manufacturing. It is remelted and fed to a furnace which melts, then refines the materials. Heat is applied by prheated combustion air, radiation from furnace walls, and to a lesser extent from diurect heat. Molten glass flows to the refiner. Heat is recovered. Glass is then molded. About 26% of glass is recycled. Why don't more people recycle it? It is a low value product. Reuse rather than recycling is often desirable, but food contact problems make this often impossible. Additionally, whereas container glass has had a recycling infrastructure built up, other forms of glass, especially plate glass, have not.
What could be done to increase glass recycling? Ask the Glass Packaging Institute. I can't think of anything at the moment that doesn't sound extremely hackneyed and general.

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