Sunday, March 30, 2008

The glass landscape

Walking Norris Street as it approached the low water level crossing of Butte Creek, I noticed that there was new ground cover along the Garden Street corner. Looked like salt and pepper, not your usual tan decayed granite gravel. You can see the difference at the top of the picture above.

Intrigued, I moved in closer. Aha. Shattered glass, about the same size as the usual gravel. But clear, with scattered remnants of beer and wine bottles. Even the occasional blue medicine container from the past. The only item missing: glass that has been sitting in the Arizona sun long enough to turn purple. In any event, an interesting use for yesterday's glass. Prescott College turf; it figures.

You must understand that the city does recycle. Some plastics. Cardboard and paper. No glass, however. I'm willing to bet that this bin over at PC's recycling set-up is possibly the only place for abandoned glass in town. After a not-so-quick visit to consult with The Google, I find that recycled glass landscaping is apparently neither that new nor that remarkable; over 133K links. Just new to me. My idea of what to do with used glass? Throw it into a rapids or over a seaside cliff. The one season I lived by the sea down in Florida, finding translucent glass shards was always a thrill! But I guess that mulch will do.

And, speaking of mulch, oh what lovely looking heaps of mulch there were at the PC recycling center. Too bad that there isn't a service one could call to send a chipper with operator around the neighborhoods to return sticks and grass and pine needles to the earth, rather than burning or stashing them forever in a landfill.

Linking: Interesting data on water allocation in Arizona in the Courier. Worth a read.


Anonymous said...

Interesting post. Glass is recycled here in Germany. There are containers, by color of glass, for disposal. The Germans also charge a deposite for many of the drink bottles, so even though it's a pain to return them, you get your money back.

Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

I recollect picking up a nicely worn and sandblasted piece of purple milk of magnesia bottle on the sandy shore of Lake Michigan in down town Chicago in ought 49. I think I made it skip 4 times.


Flutterby said...

Very interesting use of glass. There are companies that make countertops and flooring from recycled glass bottles. Those products are very attractive and had I known about the countertops before I remodeled my bathroom, that's what I would have chosen.

Clever these recycling people.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, GJ. Gives me some ideas for re-landscaping our backyard. To recycle glass bottles, we use a service called RePlanet. They have "outlets" at local grocery stores. We get cash for our cans, plastic and glass bottles.

And, Flutterby just told me something new: countertops and floors from glass! My, my.

~Anon in AV

DDD said...

Glass is recycled in Prescott! There are bins outside of the Sundog Ranch Road Transfer Station. Supposedly all the bins that were around town for glass were removed because of liability issues. As you may have noticed there was always lots of broken glass surrounding the bins. Since most were located in retail store parking lots, it's easy to see why they would be moved. According to the City:
Glass can be recycled at the City of Prescott Transfer Station, which is located at 2800 Sundog Ranch Road, just north of Prescott Lakes Parkway, off Highway 89. There are three bins located outside of the Transfer Station gates to accommodate after-hours recycling. Recycle clear, green and brown food and beverage containers only, rinsed out, with caps removed. Labels are okay. NO window glass, glassware, tableware, ceramics or light bulbs.

Granny J said...

steve -- Having to return glass bottles would really put a crimp in my walking!

bro -- was it a deep purple? I'm trying to visualize that blue glass with a layer of violet from the sun.

flutterby -- apparently they make a terrazzo-like surface using glass bits and epoxy. Similar to so-called cultured marble. But the prettiest stuff comes, not from recycled consumer glass bottles but from over runs at the glass factory, where the colors are more varied.

anon av -- if you plan to DIY,do read the link I posted...

Granny J said...

ddd -- I didn't know about the Sundog recycle bins. Again, count me out as I don't drive. And, no tableware? I wonder why. They'll miss out on my lovely Mexican red glasses if I'm so unlucky as to break one.

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