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Glass Bottle Recycling and Uses for Cullet
Glass bottle recycling is a big business. Recycling helps the environment, because if we did not recycle millions of tons of glass would be dumped in the landfills, and since glass is not biodegradable, it will never decompose into the raw materials it was made of.
Glass bottle recycling has a part to play in making glass from scratch also. Glass is made from sand, silica, and other raw materials; however, by adding a certain amount of cullet, recycled glass, into the mix.
Recycled glass added to the raw materials when making glass liquefies at a lower temperature than the raw materials. The cullet helps in the process of making glass from scratch.
Glass bottle recycling produces cullet which goes into glass containers and many other products. Cullet is valuable in the making of new glass because it contains silica, soda and lime.
When making new glass the cullet is rich in silica, soda and lime, so that less raw materials have to be used to make new glass. Glass cullet can be ground down to be granular, and it is used in construction; cullet is used as an additive to concrete.
Cullet added to concrete is called aggregate and it is used in roadway construction, and in bedding and backfill. Cullet is also used in sandblasting, and for backfill for underground storage tanks.
Cullet from glass bottle recycling is used even in the landscaping business. Many of the lawn ornaments are made from cullet. Landscape architects use glass aggregate from glass bottle recycling to make multicolored glass gravel that resembles pea gravel.
Cullet used in this way is very inexpensive to use as filler and drainage systems. Glass cullet is also used in the formation of plastic timber, because it makes the plastic maintenance free and virtually indestructible.
Plastic timber made with glass cullet can be used to build decks; it can be used inside the home and outside. Cullet is used to make some tiles that are used in the home.
The difference between glass bottle recycling and plastic recycling is that glass never wears out. Glass can be recycled over and over again without losing any of its properties, where plastics tend to get stiff after a few times of being recycled.
Glass also preserves the contents inside without chemical reactions happening between the plastic bottle and its contents. Glass does not lose any of its properties, so therefore the contents will not be contaminated.
If you are looking for ways to go green, glass bottle recycling is the prudent thing to do. Not only are you helping the environment, but you will be providing the materials that go into other products.
You never will know if the glass bottles you recycled will end up in the manufacture of construction materials or used in the products you buy for your home and yard. The more recycled materials used in construction and in products the more sustainable we become by preserving the environment.
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