For the past few years, the University of Montevallo and the city of Montevallo, Alabama, USA, have been offering local residents a green option for disposing their glass refuse.
What began as a program spearheaded by a UM biology professor approximately two years ago has evolved into a mutually beneficial agreement between the city and a Calera company.
Shortly after UM began its recycling program, Travis Reid, the safety, environment and public affairs manager for the Lafarge cement plant in Calera, approached the university with a proposal.
Because the UM program was one of the only recycling programs in Central Alabama to offer glass recycling, Lafarge offered to take the used glass collected by the university.
After Lafarge employees collect the recycled glass, they return it to the plant, crush it and use it as a raw material to create concrete. Glass contains silica, which is a component of concrete, Reid said.
Although the UM program is no longer operational, the city of Montevallo recently opened a new recycling centre on Spring Creek Road, which is open 24 hours a day.
Lafarge regularly accepts every glass bottle collected at the Montevallo centre and a recycling centre in Birmingham.
Montevallo Mayor Ben McCrory said the city’s agreement with Lafarge is beneficial to both parties because it allows the city to put the recycled glass to good use, and it grants Lafarge a steady flow of one of its raw materials.