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Waste Not
What to Do with Recycled Glass?

Our office kitchen only has one microwave and I always get hungry at peak lunchtime. I place my Pyrex glass container of leftovers at the end of the microwave queue of different shapes, sizes and brands of glass containers, and wait my turn.

From Mason jars at weddings to glass water bottles at the gym and glass carafes for endlessly cold iced coffee, it’s clear that glass is being used in just about everything. Glass has so many benefits: It’s reusable, easy to clean, BPA free and sustainable. Yet, even with these benefits, glass recycling in the U.S is dismal.

Glass is 100 percent recyclable, and can be recycled again and again without losing quality or purity. However, in 2013, only 34 percent of glass products were recovered and recycled, meaning that the rest most likely ended up in landfills. Today, glass is one of the least recycled common materials on the U.S. market, and many cities are ending curbside collections of glass. It’s time for a shakeup in glass recycling – and you can help!

A leading food and beverage company has issued an innovation challenge with IdeaBuzz to source novel ideas for how cities can leverage recycled, multi-colored glass. How would you use recycled glass to solve fundamental urban infrastructure needs and challenges? Could it be used to replace cement, as insulation, or even converted to sand for city beaches?

The online challenge provides a forum for cities, researchers, urban planners and sustainability advocates to come together and propose ideas and solutions. It’s not an easy challenge, but it’s a great opportunity to leverage glass for cities. Not only would you help make a difference in cities, but you’d also be eligible for a cash prize of up to $2,500.

All ideas must be submitted by October 13, 2017.

This post first appeared on IdeaScale on September 6, 2017.


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