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Glass collection: is it better to recycle glass to obtain an economic return? What to give in the glass bells and how the door-to-door collection works.
Differentiated collection of glass
The delivery of glass bottles and bottles by citizens, restaurateurs and merchants represents the most important moment in the recovery chain and of the entire system of glass recycling.
The Bells of the glass collection
The most popular method for theseparate collection of glassprovides for the use ofGreen bells. Green bells are containers with a volumetric capacity ranging from 2 to 3 cubic meters. The green bells have wired holes through which it is possible to give theglass bottles.
Door-to-door glass collection
For theseparate collection of glass, another method used is thedoor to door collection but this is not carried out by individual citizens as we are used to for wet, dry, plastic and aluminum. Generally, the door-to-door collection of glass is located in condominiums, traders, restaurateurs ... or in strategic points where the competent Administration has special bins.
What not to throw in the glass bells
Despite the awareness campaigns about theseparate collection of glass, materials keep popping up in the Green Bellsfalse friends of glass. We remind you that materials such as:
This means that no objects such as cups, plates, oven dishes, broken mirrors must be included in the glass collection ...
Recycle the glass
Glass is a definite materialclean because it can be easily reused and recycled many times. It is made from raw materials present in abundance on the planet and also inexpensive. It is precisely because the raw materials for glass production (sand, soda and limestone) are very cheap that sometimes the transport costs for glass recycling become a sore point of the entire recycling chain.
Recycle the glassit means selecting it with separate collection, crushing it and mixing it with other sand, soda and limestone, and then melting it at much lower temperatures than those necessary to process the virgin material.
Theglass recyclingreturns a strong energy saving if achieved with an intelligent supply chain: the glass industry invests large amounts of energy for the extraction and transport of raw materials and for the blast furnace of soda sand and limestone.
Glass collection for a fee
The glass used is a quality material but, theglass recyclingsees an economic return lower than that seen for the recycling of aluminum. In order to talk aboutglass collection for a feeand transform separate collection into abusiness, citizens should be educated to differentiate glass by colors.
There have been attempts: in some cities in Italy the administrations have experimented with two-tone bells with two separate compartments in which to insert white glass and colored glass. The glass that can guarantee an economic return is the brown or white one (collected separately)
In Italy, more than half of the glass collected is destined forrecyclingit is exported to other countries of the European Union, especially Switzerland. In Italy there is no complete supply chain that can lead from collection to reuse. The glass bottles, reduced to shards, are separated by color: brown or white glass is intended for glassworks while colored and non-separated glass is used for other purposes such as for the production of glass foam gravel (a very versatile insulating material) .
Glass collection in Italy: the data
According to the data released byCoReVe – Glass Recovery Consortium, waste management in glass has improved a lot over the last year.
The highest per capita collection was recorded in the North of Italy with 39.4 kg of glass collected per inhabitants. In Central Italy, the average per capita collection amounts to 26.4 kg of glass while in the South the average value is only 19.7 kg per inhabitant. Even if the values of the center-south may seem discouraging, they are those that show a higher growth rate with a + 10.9% in the Center and a +5.3 in the South. In 2015, in Italy, 1,661 were collected. 000 tons of glass.