Evergreen opened the first separated source glass recycling station at Evergreen Lake House this spring with the help of Clear Intentions, a Denver based glass recycling company, with the intention of opening up more throughout the city by the end of 2018.
Why Separated Source instead of Single-Stream Recycling?
Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity, however it must be collected properly. Unfortunately, single-stream recycling (where all recycling goes in one bin for collection) is not the best answer and for most Colorado cities and towns, including Evergreen, is the accepted process. Many people aren’t aware that with single-stream recycling less than 17% of the glass is actually recycled. Furthermore, glass within the singe-stream also contaminates 25% of the other recycled materials leading to it ending up in landfills as well.
How does this happen?
The large curb-side recycling compactors gather as much of the materials as possible by smashing everything together. As expected, glass gets broken and shattered into irretrievable pieces that can no longer be separated from the other recycling materials. Every load that comes into the recycling plant is evaluated and if there’s too much glass, that load goes to the landfill. This system has been used for decades, but with separated source recycling the glass is removed prior to being added to a recycle bin leading to 100% recycled glass and leaving the other materials to be separated and recycled.
What is the Solution?
Clear Intentions has partnered with the Evergreen community to provide glass separate recycling and educational programs for an easy solution to improve recycling statistics, moving the state closer to zero waste.
Clear Intentions then takes it a step further by donating $1 to non-profit organizations for every full glass container collected, donating services to Colorado events such as the Great American Beer Festival, and providing educational seminars and mentorship to young students interested in their environment and manufacturing.
The current Glass Station is located at Evergreen Lake House next to the parking lot and picnic tables to make collection simple and convenient. Above each station is an outline of what types of glass are and are not accepted.