GMIC's new Glass Recycling Division will link interested parties together to facilitate the development of necessary tools and practices to improve the knowledge about and information relating to the beneficial use of glass.
Our ultimate goal is to divert post-manufacturing and post-consumer glass -- which would otherwise be sent to landfills -- to a variety of added-value products and processes, says Todd McCollough, GRD manager. We will link individuals, organizations, companies, and municipalities to coordinate efforts to expand beneficial uses of glass that isnt destined to be re-used in a melting furnace.
McCollough said the GRD is in its early phases of development, and currently is recruiting members. The division will provide numerous information-related services to its members, including:
A directory of glass users and cullet providers
A Web site to promote members activities and products
Chat pages to address industry issues
Communication on regulatory factors
Information retrieval service regarding technologies, sources for glass, and industry activities
Research for R&D grant opportunities
GMIC executive director Michael Greenman points out that the formation of the GRD is one of three initiatives of a national action plan to address challenges to glass recycling. Besides the GMIC, other organizations involved are the National Recycling Coalition, the Glass Packaging Institute, and Recycle America Alliance.
As part of the project, Greenman explained, three independent workgroups have formed. One group will work to identify the critical costs points in the glass container recycling system, with a goal of devising and implementing strategies to improve the performance and cost-effectiveness of the glass recycling system.
The second group will assess the feasibility and desirability of establishing an industrywide standardized system for measuring cullet quality. That groups goal is to improve the quality of glass cullet by enhancing the effectiveness of the feedback loop for material quality between suppliers, processors, and end users, said Greenman.
The third workgroup (under which the GMIC formed its Glass Recycling Division) is examining the challenges and opportunities for increasing cullet use in alternative (other than glass container) products. It also will support the efforts of the other two groups to improve glass recycling effectiveness overall.
Greenman stressed that the success of the GRD is vital because of the dilemma surrounding glass recycling in the United States.
There are numerous issues and problems in the glass recycling industry, all of which are making headlines every day, he says. This country is far behind others that are excelling in their glass recycling efforts.
He also notes that studies show there are numerous alternative glass-product markets, including concrete applications, construction aggregates, drainage media, insulation applications, paving applications, blast media/peening agents, building materials, decorative materials and art objects.
We believe our division will help facilitate the development of new glass markets and the growth of existing ones, Greenman says. This will have a significant impact on future uses, and keep glass from landfills.