A Beautiful Solution to a Growing Problem

Like so many people in the Lowcountry, the GlassEco team is very passionate about doing our part to protect our area’s beautiful land and waterways. We manufacture one-of-a-kind countertops and other hard surfaces using recycled glass that has been collected from Charleston metro businesses and residences. The inspiration for our unique product line was an answer to a growing problem in the recycling industry that we are all too aware of, but many people in the region simply are not. Our goal is to shed some light on this important topic.

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A simple Google search "is glass really recycled" yields article after article which highlights the issue…

While these articles aren’t South Carolina specific, our state is dealing with the same problems regarding glass recycling. In fact, much to the dismay of our friends in the Upstate, they are no longer able to recycle their household glass through the cities or counties because there are simply no longer any local materials recovery facilities (MRFs) that accept glass. We do know of one business that is collecting glass for both residential  and commercial in the Greenville area, RAM Recycling, LLC.

Are government officials and waste management companies just heartless? Do they not care about the environment? The hard fact is that recycling is a business, and this really all just comes down to money unfortunately. Consider this…

  • Glass is heavy which makes it costly to transport.

  • When paper, plastic and glass are all together in one bin, the glass tends to break which contaminates the other recyclables. It is very difficult and costly to sort them back into a reusable state.

  • Glass fragments can damage recycling equipment, so facilities have to be willing and able to invest in glass-separating technology.

  • If companies can’t process and sell glass profitably, they have no incentive to recycle it. 

As for those of us living in the Lowcountry, Charleston County states that they recycle your glass on their website. However, we are partial to our local sister company, Fisher Recycling. They offer recycling services for local offices, restaurants, hotels and some residential collection sites. We know first-hand that they take great care to pull out the glass so that it doesn’t end up in the landfill. Charlestonians go through a lot of glass as seen below, and we are thankful that we are able to re-purpose what Fisher Recycling collects through GlassEco Surfaces.

Piles of glass at Fisher Recycling/GlassEco’s North Charleston facility that’s been diverted from landfills.

Piles of glass at Fisher Recycling/GlassEco’s North Charleston facility that’s been diverted from landfills.

While the glass recycling industry as a whole is full of serious challenges, we were encouraged at a recent conference to hear of new advances in the collection and processing of glass. There are development plans in the works for a state-of-the-art facility coming to Berkeley County that would handle all waste, except glass. Fisher Recycling is in discussions with them to manage all of the glass that comes out of the facility and recycle it properly.

Our view is that we may not be able to fix the inherent problems with glass recycling , but we can all strive to be a part of the solution…

  • Consider heading up a glass recycling effort in your neighborhood or at your office. We would love to answer questions and may be able to facilitate a collection site in your area based on demand.

  • Look for ways to re-purpose your own glass versus throwing it in the bin. We are in love with some of these ideas on Pinterest!

  • Support local businesses like GlassEco that are actively collecting used glass to manufacture beautiful products.

Recycled Glass Countertops

Learn More about Recycled Glass Products by GlassEco

Recycled glass countertops and other hard surfaces are great for residential and commercial spaces, and GlassEco manufactures options that are well-suited for interior and exterior use. The design possibilities are virtually limitless, and it all starts with creating a custom sample. Schedule a complimentary design consultation to learn more.