The Creative Sustainability Council Hosts Glass Recycling Drive

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Molly Simpson, Staff Reporter

In recent years, the act of recycling paper, plastic, and aluminum has become mainstream. However, few are aware of the various benefits of recycling glass. This is likely because of the scarcity of locations that still accept glass as a recyclable material. According to the Sierra Club, glass weighs up to 10 times as much as a similar volume of plastic or aluminum, making transportation an expensive task that yields little profit (2018). Because of this financial burden, few public locations still offer receptacles for glass drop-off. However, the Creative Sustainability Council (CSC) at Fairmont State is taking strides to return glass recycling to the campus and surrounding communities. This is accomplished through glass crushing, which involves converting the glass back into sand using a state-of-the-art machine.

This machine, called the Expleco GLSand bottle crusher, was purchased and installed in the fall of 2020 with a grant from the Appalachian Stewardship Foundation. The crusher has been in full operation since early 2021 and is operated by the two current Sustainability Liaisons, students Bradley Leonard and James Bombard. Bradley and James are responsible for scheduling and processing glass donations, as well as helping patrons learn to use the crusher if desired. All glass crushing takes place on the bottom floor of the parking garage; appointments must be scheduled using the Google Forms survey designed by the Creative Sustainability Council.

The Glass Drive
While the Creative Sustainability Council accepts glass donations at all times of the academic year, they are hosting a special glass drive for the Fall 2022 semester. All the sand produced from this drive will be used to help complete the sensory garden, one of the several attractions available on the Falcon Trail. The sensory garden, implemented by Professor Jan Kiger and students of the Outdoor Recreation Program, is located near the Physical Plant trailhead and is designed to offer an opportunity for meditation and mindfulness to visitors of the trail. All the sand collected during the drive will be deposited on the trail at the end of the semester, with hopes that the multicolored granules will aid in the creation of an enriching sensory experience.

Donating Glass: Tips and Tricks
If you are looking to donate to the CSC glass drive, consider these tips and tricks:

  • Beverage bottles, pasta sauce containers, and oil bottles are all accepted.
  •  Labels on glass are allowed.
  • Ensure that your glass is not sticky, as this makes it difficult for the crusher to process.
  •  Remove all metal caps and rings from your glass.
  • Sort glass by colors, if desired.
  • If you plan to crush your own glass: wear appropriate attire. This includes closed-toe
    shoes and long pants. Gloves and safety glasses will be provided to you.
  • If you are a student living on campus, a permanent glass drop-off location will soon be
    available in Bryant Place. In the meantime, please continue donating your glass via
    appointment. If you are unable to attend an appointment, there are glass recycling bins in
    the Education building, the library, Colebank Hall, and Morrow Hall. Keep in mind that
    these bins are not checked as frequently, so donating glass via appointment is preferred.

To sign up for a glass crushing appointment, visit the Creative Sustainability Council website and complete the form
located under the “Glass Crushing” header. Also, here is a video of the glass crusher at work. Questions about the glass drive or other CSC initiatives can be directed to Erica Harvey at [email protected]