NRRA Presents on Glass Recycling at Maine Conference

October 25, 2021

On Monday, October 18, NRRA Executive Director, Reagan Bissonnette, spoke at the Maine Resource Recovery Association Conference about NRRA's source separated glass recycling programs.  Despite the challenges that exist with glass recycling in New England, NRRA has two successful programs that allow over 100 communities to recycle and reuse their glass, serving over 500,000 residents in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts.  The first, which accepts food grade glass bottles and jars only, sends glass to a vendor in Canada to be processed and later made into new glass bottles and jars and fiberglass insulation back in the United States.  The second glass program involves crushes glass bottles and jars, plus materials like porcelain, Pyrex, and ceramics where allowed like in NH, into an aggregate to be used in infrastructure projects.  

Both programs follow the same basic process, whether the glass comes from single stream, dual stream, or source separated recycling programs.  First, glass is separated by residents and collected as municipal transfer stations.  Second, glass is delivered by municipalities to a host site for aggregation.  Lastly, glass is transported to Canada or crushed into an aggregate at the host site.  Participating municipalities pay a per ton fee to NRRA to manage the program.  Building on this basic process, Reagan shared with MRRA conference attendees the detailed mechanics of how these two programs operate.  

To learn more about NRRA's two glass recycling programs, view our Through the Looking Glass StoryMap and our video about how processed glass aggregate is created and used by local communities in public works projects.  Or watch NRRA's webinar "Using Processed Glass Aggregate in Road and Infrastructure Projects," which also features a chart summarizing the specifications and approved uses of processed glass aggregate in each New England state.