Keep recycling glass

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Keep recycling glass


Our neighbors to the east of us in Brookhaven Town will no longer be recycling glass. Neither do the towns of Southold and Smithtown, nor some other municipalities around the country. Basically, the reason for not doing so is because it’s too costly. That’s a shame.

Fortunately, to their credit, Islip Town will not be following that lead. They understand that recycled glass is versatile in use and more important, environmentally friendly. 

Plastic, the alternative to glass, is one of the worst polluters on our planet. However, the manufacturers who have switched from glass to plastic aren’t as concerned about the environment as they are about convenience. It’s easier to produce and transport plastic than the heavier glass. But, it’s actually not cheaper. The products used to make plastic are a lot more expensive. And unlike the limited recycling abilities of plastic, glass can be endlessly recycled without losing quality while being put to good use.

Crushed glass, also known as cullet, is used in a number of products ranging from abrasive compounds to landscaping. Since it does not absorb as much moisture as typical mulch, less watering is required.

Other common uses of crushed glass in construction products include: fiberglass insulation, tile flooring, countertops, bricks and reflective paint. On a larger scale, a glass compound is often used in the concrete pavement of roads and parking lots, and on airport runways as well. It tends to be less slippery and not as likely to crack.

Cullet is used to make reflective clothing and also to make fiber optics. In our tech-dominated culture, that seems reason alone to keep recycling glass.

Still, in a fast-paced society, one tends to gravitate toward what is easier, and so in that case, plastic will prevail. Glass, which is primarily composed of the all-natural sand and lime, but tends to be somewhat heavier and more cumbersome to handle, might someday be totally cast aside for the lighter, more manageable and very unnatural plastic.

For all of its function and green quality, though, isn’t glass worth the added effort?