A Startup Company Making Waves in Glass Recycling

Waste Startup

See how this entrepreneurial company, Glass Half Full, from the United States is doing its part of an Andela System on glass recycling, which Franziska Trautmann and her boyfriend co-found. Their enterprise could be Louisiana’s biggest glass-recycling operation, having saved millions of beer bottles from landfills. They aim to recycle locally, reducing the need to transport glass waste to manufacturers elsewhere.

To help them achieve their mission, Glass Half Full receives a ton of community support, including financial assistance through crowdfunding. They were able to purchase the necessary equipment, including a machine that can grind one bottle at a time, and rent a warehouse to operate from.

Glass Half Full operates in Louisiana, a state with a shrinking coastline, and the company’s efforts help to rebuild it. Volunteers use the crushed glass as material to assist in the reconstruction.

Glass Half Full receives around a garbage truckload of glass every week, deposited in their warehouse. They offer free drop-offs or pick-up services at a cost. The bottles are eventually dumped into a crushing machine to produce a mix of sand, gravel, and labels. Some larger glass chunks are too big to use, and the company is still figuring out what to do with them.

Glass Half Full separates metals and plastics from the waste stream for recycling, and even sends some non-recyclable cardboard to a pig farm for composting. They also turn colorful bottles into specialty sand that artists and homeowners can use. They sell the largest grains of glass as gravel, and the smallest grains as a fine powder.

Glass Half Full’s recycling operation relies on a key piece of equipment called the Andela GP-05 Pulverizer. This machine is designed to crush glass bottles into sand and gravel and easily separate the contaminants, making the recycling process much more efficient.

According to Franziska, the GP-05 is critical to their recycling operation. The machine grinds the bottles at 1 Ton per hour, allowing the team to process glass quickly and efficiently. Despite its small size, the Andela GP-05 pulverizer has proven to be a valuable asset to Glass Half Full’s recycling efforts. Thanks to the machine and the dedication of the company’s founders and volunteers, over 4 million beer bottles’ worth of glass have been saved from landfills in just two years.