Waste Problem: Glass bottles
Let me tell you the modern version of Beauty and the Beast. Everyone marvels at the beauty of the Taj Mahal in Agra, poetry cast in marble. A distance away slumbers the beast in Ghazipur, Delhi. Miles and miles of rotting garbage lie in and all its stinking glory affects the village nearby. I saw all these glass bottles piling up at home and understood that even the rag pickers did not want to take it because they had to just dump it all into the landfill.
The winery and cidery produce about 6,000 gallons of wine and 35,000 gallons of hard cider per year. So what’s the way out for this ?? How can these glass bottles be dumped without ending at landfills?
Sand Bottle Crusher:
This won’t be a problem anymore. Thanks to a new piece of equipment recently introduced by the United States, the GL Sand Bottle Crusher.
The machine crushes glass bottles into sand within seconds and converts them into a valuable by-product reducing its volume by almost 90 percent. The sand that we get from recycled bottles is suitable as a construction material.
The benefit of recycling bottles this way is that the sand produced from crushed glass bottles is stronger than the ordinary sand used in construction because of its high silica content. It has 76 percent Silica, therefore, holds better with bricks and concrete.
A bottle of beer (330 ml) can yield 263 gm of sand, while a champagne bottle (750 ml) can produce 838 gm of sand. The sand thus produced is safe to be used in brickmaking, construction, road repair, and on beaches.
Anybody that’s dealing with a volume of glass needs a machine like this. If you just put a glass bottle into a landfill, it literally takes a million years for that to decompose.
But using the Glacial Tills one has to just insert a glass bottle top-side down. Fast-moving hammers inside the machine then pulverize the glass until it is small enough to fall through a screen into a bucket.
Approximately 160 beer bottles and 60 wine or spirit bottles that were put through the crusher can fit in a single five-gallon bucket. That’s a 90 percent reduction in volume.
The sand-like product feels like dust and is safe to touch. Plus, it has dozens of practical applications. The sand after filtering, one can use in sandblasting, pool filters, or to mix with an emulsifier and to turn into an asphalt-like material that can fill potholes or cracks.
A step towards sustainability
New Zealand beer company DB Breweries has installed bottle crushing machines that turn Beer bottles into usable sand for construction and pharmaceuticals. This saves the extra economy of sending the empty bottles to be processed in a recycling centre.
Simply drop in your used beer bottle and the machine turns it into 200 grams of powder. The process of turning glass bottles into sand involves the removal of silica dust, which results in the sand substitute. It accounts for 2 tonnes of total sand substitute ever year in New Zealand.
Read about the company that designed this beauty: GL Sand Quip Works
Read about another sustainable invention: Bioplastic
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B.Tech Student at NIFTEM (National Institute of Food Technology and Entrepreneurship and Management)