Missoula Companies Provide Glass Recycling Despite Obstacles - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Missoula Companies Provide Glass Recycling Despite Obstacles

Posted: Updated:
MISSOULA - Recycling glass is a practice dating back to colonial times and is a wide-spread policy throughout the country and world.

In the Big Sky state, the routine, process, and utilization remain ideas of the future.

Still, many in the Missoula Valley are eager to keep their part of the nearly 50 tons of glass consumed by Montanans annually out of the dump and put it to a better use.

"When it's broken down it's inert, so it doesn't really leech out or do anything to the environment. So people are like 'we'll throw it away it's just like a rock' but what it does is it adds volume," explains i.e. Recycling owner, Martin NoRunner.

Keeping open country from being spotted with landfills is what drove NoRunner to start his own curbside recycling service, called Intergenerational Equity Recycling, in 2010.

But what set's i.e. apart from other curbside services? They'll gladly take your glass.

"There's definitely the want to recycle from Missoula, glass specifically, as well as all recyclable materials. "

NoRunner taps into Missoulians desire to keep glass, a 100% recyclable material, out of the landfills.

NoRunner's glass is picked up from residences and businesses and stored at the Rocky Mountain Rail Yard, where he planned to pulverize it, load it into train cars, and ship it the Coors factory in Colorado.

That was until weeks ago when a recycling company in Livingston that did the same thing had to shut down, leaving NoRunner with tons of glass and few solutions.

"Now we're up the creek without a paddle," NoRunner says. "The best use for it would be locally. We have a pulverizer, which we have been pulverizing glass since 2012, but there's no market in Missoula or really the Montana area where people want to use it as an aggregate to replace gravel."

Commonly, pulverized glass is used as an aggregate, to replace gravel and be used for paving roads and filling potholes.

The Department of Environmental Quality says the cost of shipping glass and not having bottling plants close to Montana are two factors that push glass into the aggregate market as a low value commodity, meaning to businesses and city departments, gravel is a more cost-effective option.

But one of i.e Recycling's partners, Bayern Brewery, suggests re-using glass locally goes beyond aggregates and infrastructures.

"We decided to recycle and use glass bottles. We also return 6-pack carriers and cases from our distributors. We're taking a technology and a thought process going on pretty much all over the world right now and we're trying to implement it in Montana," says Jared Spiker, Marketing and Communications Director for Bayern Brewery.

For years, Spiker says the brewery has collected bottles with the idea of cutting down on their customers waste, becoming more sustainable, and keeping money in the hands of Montanans.

"The way we kind of look at it here at Bayern is we buy this glass and that money is being spent with a glass company out of state. But 80% of Bayern is consumed within Montana, so that means Montanans are paying for it and we want to put the money that this glass costs back in the hands of the Montanans that are actually consuming this glass," Spiker says.

Bayern collects brown glass bottles no matter what brewery or company they came from, as long as they fit a certain size, and are free of chips and design.

They also run the bottles through a high pressure washer that's the only one of its type in the country.

The end result? About 60% of their glass is re-used.

"We look at the 50,000 bottles a week that we bottle, if we don't do something that's going to wind up in our backyards."

The brewery hopes that grows beyond their tap room.

"A goal for us, we would like to be taking in more glass than we actually re-use which would allow us to then give other breweries the same glass that we use since every Montana beer company uses the same glass. We would like to then provide other Montana breweries with the same glass we're using in our same operation," Spiker says.

Bayern pays five cents for every bottle returned and 10 cents for every six-pack.

Spiker says they take in about 250 cases of returned bottles a week and the drop off hours are the same as the brewery hours, 12 p.m.- 8 p.m. every day of the week.



  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Missing Oregon Woman May be in Washington's San Juan Islands

    Missing Oregon Woman May be in Washington's San Juan Islands

    Friday, August 1 2014 2:47 PM EDT2014-08-01 18:47:27 GMT
    (AP) A Dundee, Oregon, woman who has been missing more than a week may be in Washington's San Juan Islands.
    (AP) A Dundee, Oregon, woman who has been missing more than a week may be in Washington's San Juan Islands.
  • BMX Racing Growing in Bozeman

    BMX Racing Growing in Bozeman

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:36 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:36:03 GMT
    Often times, families are trying to think of new ways to spend time together.We introduce you to one family who has found a fun, definitely exciting, and a bit daring way to spend time with one another.
    Often times, families are trying to think of new ways to spend time together.We introduce you to one family who has found a fun, definitely exciting, and a bit daring way to spend time with one another.
  • 44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:46 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:46:53 GMT
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.
  • Bozeman Mayor Responds to Public Meeting's Abrupt End

    Bozeman Mayor Responds to Public Meeting's Abrupt End

    Friday, August 1 2014 12:31 AM EDT2014-08-01 04:31:42 GMT
    A public meeting in Bozeman Wednesday night, updating residents on efforts to mitigate violate organic compounds near the Story Mill Road landfill, ended abruptly after one man began shouting at the Mayor.
    A public meeting in Bozeman Wednesday night, updating residents on efforts to mitigate violate organic compounds near the Story Mill Road landfill, ended abruptly after one man began shouting at the Mayor.
  • Many Frustrated By Stalled Cobell Settlements

    Many Frustrated By Stalled Cobell Settlements

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-07-17 01:30:30 GMT
    In Congress Wednesday, the group in charge of doling out Cobell settlement claims says it's waiting on setting exact amounts and a judge's okay before making the rest of the payments.
    In Congress Wednesday, the group in charge of doling out Cobell settlement claims says it's waiting on setting exact amounts and a judge's okay before making the rest of the payments.
  • Ranch At Rock Creek Makes National List

    Ranch At Rock Creek Makes National List

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:01 PM EDT2014-08-01 21:01:32 GMT
    A luxury ranch right here in Montana is ranked as the most expensive resort in the nation.
    A luxury ranch right here in Montana is ranked as the most expensive resort in the nation.
  • Update: Semi Removed, Lanes Reopen After Chemical Spill Near Bonner

    Update: Semi Removed, Lanes Reopen After Chemical Spill Near Bonner

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:22 PM EDT2014-07-23 19:22:36 GMT
    Emergency officials, including health department personnel, are on scene of a semi rollover east of Missoula.
    Emergency officials, including health department personnel, are on scene of a semi rollover east of Missoula.
  • MHP Increases Patrols For Testicle Festival

    MHP Increases Patrols For Testicle Festival

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:41:38 GMT
    The 33rd annual Testicle Festival is underway, and officers are bringing in the reinforcements to prevent DUI's.
    The 33rd annual Testicle Festival is underway, and officers are bringing in the reinforcements to prevent DUI's.
Powered by WorldNow

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.