A Brief History of Recycling Glass
Glass bottles and jars make up a large amount of garbage produced in the United States. The sad thing is that these containers don’t have to end up in landfills where they will stay forever. Recycling glass not only helps reduce the volume of waste in our landfills, it also saves the resources used to create more glass, such as limestone, sand, and soda. Reusing glass also prevents more carbon dioxide from being pumped into the air during the glass creation process. Most glass can be recycled and used over and over again, without adding pollution to our environment and without losing any of its essential characteristics.
There is some evidence that shows ancient civilizations were recycling glass as early as 400 BC, taking glass from conquered villages and reusing these materials in other settlements. As time passed, recycling materials became much more frequent in times of trouble, such as war, disease, or famine, most likely because other materials were becoming scarce and recycling was necessary for survival.
Prior to the Great Depression, recycling was motivated by the economic benefits of reusing materials and was frequently done simply because it was generally cheaper. During the Great Depression and WWII, recycling and reusing glass became a necessity, as resources were limited and most people could not afford to buy new items. Recycling also became a symbol of the war effort as individuals wanting to help their nation reduced, reused, and recycled as many materials as they could as often as possible.
After WWII and during the 1950s, many recycling programs were largely abandoned as the economy bounced back and landfills became a cheap way to dispose of waste. By the 1970s, however, the environmental movement was gaining steam. Greater public awareness and a rise in energy costs helped spur the creation of recycling centers and gave birth to the famous recycling symbol.Some states in the US began offering bottle compensation programs, where consumers are reimbursed when containers are brought to a recycling center.
Currently, many cities offer curbside recycling services and some areas even have mandatory recycling programs. Because glass can be used time and time again and does not ever break down, people are highly encouraged to seek out local glass recycling even if it is not offered by their city services. Tiny fragments of crushed glass can be re-melted and used to make new bottles and containers, or they can be used in fiberglass insulation, recycled glass countertops, pipe bedding, or even as a substitute for pea gravel.
To learn more about glass recycling in San Jose, please visit this website.
With the advantage of having lots of experience in the Recycling Industry, Dustin shares his knowledge through his writing. You can find his thoughts at live journal blog
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