Arglass receives final shipment of recycled glass

Apr. 25—VALDOSTA — The Arglass company received the final shipment Tuesday of the 18 tons of recycled glass collected by Georgia students.

The 18.6 tons of glass was collected in a contest sponsored by Public Service Commissioners Tim Echols and Jason Shaw, Georgia Natural Gas, Arglass, Coca-Cola, United Consulting, MHC Kenworth, Bulldog Movers, and Republic Waste Services.

Echols said the contest was inspired by his own recycling efforts when he was in high school.

In total, 24 Georgia middle and high schools participated in the contest in an effort to divert high-quality glass from ending up in landfills.

Maynard Jackson High School in Grant Park took the top prize of $2,500 for collecting 7,235 pounds of glass, 3.5 tons.

All together $8,000 in prize money was awarded to 11 schools across the state.

Ronald Holmes, Arglass's Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Sustainability, said now that MHC Kenworth has delivered the last shipment of glass, it will get processed, broken down and made into new bottles.

The sponsors will not be holding another contest in the future, but Holmes says Arglass is going to continue the work of collecting glass.

"We're partnering with several people in the area, and outside of the area, to generate glass collection. ... What Commissioner Echols has done to energize [glass collection] will hopefully mean they continue to collect it, we get it into our collection system and eventually all that glass will come down here because we want to be able to turn [collected glass] into new bottles," said Holmes.

Chris Maddox, Arglass's Head of Supply Chain, said this movement is important, not only because it removes a large amount of glass bottles from landfills, but because it helps reduce the use of energy and raw materials.

"There's only about 30% of glass bottles getting recycled today, so there's about 82 billion bottles that end up in landfills, and so movements like this that Commissioner Echols has started is going to generate an increase in volume [of recycled glass]," said Maddox. "Rather than a glass bottle ending up in a landfill, it will get used again. For every one bottle that gets recycled you can make one bottle from it."

"I think it's a fantastic movement that Commissioner Echols and Commissioner Shaw have started here and we're certainly looking forward to that momentum continuing with our intent on building a cullet facility," said Maddox.