Kansas City Glass Recycling

…alternatively titled “Everything I didn’t know about Ripple Glass”

The Fox used to live in a big East Coast city and in that big East Coast city, you could recycle everything.  Throw it all in a giant, city provided trash can, and people would magically whisk it away every week.  So, we had to admit some confusion when we moved to Kansas City and you couldn’t recycle glass.  We’re well into the 2000′s, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

Ripple Glass

Recently I picked up some literature on Ripple Glass, our local glass recycler which has given me some of the background, and some interesting facts to boot so I thought I’d share them.

“Last year alone, Kansas Citians threw away 150 million pounds of perfectly good glass.  TO the dismay of the people at Boulevard Brewing Company, this included some 10 million empty Bouulevard bottles… why almost no local recycling? Because there was no nearby facility to process the glass.  And why no local processor?  Because, in classic chicken and egg fashion, there was almost no local recycling.”

“The folks at Boulevard finally got tired of being part of the problem.  So… they came up with a solution–Ripple Glass.  Ripple has constructed a state of the art processign plant right here in KC… [and] found a local customer what will convert the recycled glass into fiberglass insulation.”

Cool story.  And a few other interesting facts

  • Throughout the US, nearly 30% of glass containers are recycled but KC ranks last among major cities with a recycling rate of only 5%.
  • Collecting glass separate from the rest of your recycled materials keeps the paper and plastic products from being contaminated by broken glass.  This contamination means the plastics and paper can only be used for lower-quality products.  By using a segregated system, the quality of all recyclables is maintained.
  • A six pack of recycled beer bottles produces enough fiberglass insulation to fill a standard wall cavity

So now I have to admit, I kind of prefer Kansas City’s system to the East Coast city system–now we just need more and more people to use it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>