PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Dublin, Ireland, 2008/02/26 - Glassco Recycling’s new plant, a €5 million state-of-the-art glass recycling facility located in Naas, Co. Kildare was officially opened today by John Gormley TD, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
The new plant will employ 5 new staff initially and is capable of handling 50,000 tonnes of bottles and jars a year, with the potential to save over 15,000 tonnes of harmful C02 emissions. The new plant will be the first of its kind in Ireland to use optical colour sorting technology. This system enables the company to efficiently sort mixed waste glass by colour and eliminate contaminants such as ceramics and rubbish. The company intends to recycle other glass products such as plate glass in the near future, which is currently not being recycled effectively in Ireland.
“The process not only adds significant commercial value, but it also creates a product which can be recycled over and over again with no loss of quality,” commented Zeki Mustafa, managing director of Glassco Recycling. Inferior or contaminated recycled glass is sometimes used in alternative markets such as road construction or water filtration which can actually cause additional CO2 emissions and in some cases putting glass waste material into landfill sites would be better for the environment.
“At present around 50% of the 120,000 tonnes of bottles and jars collected for recycling in Ireland annually are either exported as waste product or sent to alternative markets due to inadequate processing infrastructure”. This new plant means that Ireland can maximise the environmental benefits of glass recycling and substantially reduce carbon emissions.” Recycling a glass bottle back into a new glass bottle saves enough energy to power a 100W light bulb for an hour or over 300kg of CO2 emissions per tonne.
The new plant uses the latest generation of ceramic separators which effectively remove small pieces of ceramics, stones and porcelain which are detrimental to glass recycling. Small pieces of ceramics in recycled glass can render large amounts unusable for re-melting back into new bottles.
At the opening of the plant today, Zeki Mustafa applauded the recycling efforts and inroads which have been made in Ireland to date. He commended the Irish public, the government and Repak for their efforts in promoting glass recycling and in supporting Irish waste companies in the process. In future, he would like to see better education to ensure the quality of waste glass and more focus on the benefits of recycling rather than just tonnage targets. “We need to remain vigilant about separating our glass at source,” commented Mustafa. “Continued separation of glass along with our optical colour sorting technology will allow us to attain the greatest value and reach the highest level of carbon emission saving.”
He also asked that we end to the current situation whereby the vast majority of plate glass, which can be effectively recycled, ends up in landfill. He called upon the government and local authorities to insist on closed loop recycling and also to increase the quantities of plate glass being recycled. “There is great growth potential in the glass recycling business in Ireland,” commented Mustafa with a lot of used glass still going to waste. “I ask the Minister and his department, along with local authorities to focus not only on tonnage targets but on the environmental benefits, quality of materials and education to ensure that the maximum benefit is achieved from this valuable resource.“
• New optical colour glass sorting technology in Ireland
• Potential to save over 15,000 tonnes of C02 emissions
• Call to sort all glass at source to increase value
• Call for plate glass to be recycled
The company was started with an initial investment of £3,500 in 2001 by Zeki Mustafa and his partner Larry Devereaux. They now provide glass collection services to nearly 1,000 commercial organisations nationwide and will collect and recycle 30,000 tonnes of glass this year. The company had a turnover of €1.8 million last year.