Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Infinitely Recyclable Glass
Developing countries produce there own fair share of broken glass that often ends up in landfill sites or on top fences as a burglar deterrent. Apart from recycling broken glass back into bottles and drinking glasses, this raw material can also be incorporated into floor and wall tiles.
In an article posted by Jill for Inhabitat she writes "...Glass is an amazing material. Not only is it durable, smooth and transparent, but it also has the unusual quality of being infinitely recyclable. Whereas other materials like plastic and metal gradually deteriorate over repeated recyclings, glass has the unique ability to be melted down and turned into something else over and over again, without ever experiencing any loss in quality. Add this to the fact that post-consumer glass containers now make up the second highest consumer waste product after paper, and you can see where I'm going here..
You can do your part to conserve this great resource by recycling glass containers, and by supporting industries that recycle and use recycled glass products. One good place to start is in your interior design. In the past decade, architects and material designers have begun to realize that the unique qualities of glass make it an ideal material for building - and not just in flat-paned windows and doors. Recycled glass is now making appearances in everything from kitchenware, to bathroom tiles, to the aggregate in floors and countertops.
Probably the most stunning architectural use of recycled glass can be found in Vetrazzo a ceramic aggregate material made by Berkeley based Counter production. Made from 85-90% post-consumer recycled glass, Vetrazzo is as smooth as marble and four times as strong as concrete. Is is usually used in countertops and tables but can also be used in floors and walls. The material comes in a wide variety of colors, can be custom-ordered in any combination of colors and aggregate sizes.
I once worked in a building with an all white Vetrazzo floor, and it was beautiful. The light would reflect and flicker off the glass specs, and I repeatedly found myself kneeling over to stare at the floor..."