New Glass Crusher for Orcas Island

While recycling is already a large endeavor, it gets even more complex on islands. Island infrastructure is generally much different compared to the mainland. Landfill space on an island is limited. If a waste product can be recycled and used on the island it saves landfill space and reduces the cost of logistics. One island organization is embarking on a new approach to their community’s glass recycling with the help of Andela Products.

Roughly a 2-hour plane ride or 5-hour mixed car/ferry ride away from Seattle is Orcas Island, the largest of Washington State’s San Juan Islands. With over 5,000 residents, its population contends with many incorporated places across the United States. However, unlike many of those places on the mainland, back in 1981, Orcas Island did not have any thrift stores or donation sites for useful items that would otherwise end up in a landfill. So, at the time, many reusable products were thrown away with the garbage.

Seeing an opportunity to reduce, reuse, and recycle, a group of local community activists created Orcas Island’s legendary reuse center: The Exchange. What began as a centralized location for donations of used goods turned into a community meeting place and even a tourist attraction. The Exchange’s success in “reduce, reuse, recycle” led to their appointment to manage the Orcas Island Transfer Station (Solid Waste Facility) in 2013.

Mission of The Exchange and Orcas Recycling Services (ORS) is: “Building a zero-waste community through service, education and stewardship of our waste/resource streams.”

Crushed glass sandBecause glass is heavy and costly to ship back to the mainland, The Exchange determined that the best way to handle the island’s glass is to reuse it on the island in the form of sand. So they contacted Andela Products, ordered a new glass crusher system, and began site prep. The glass crusher or pulverizer will be the first significant update to Orcas Island’s new and improved “Recycling Center.” The crusher will crush glass containers into sand to be reused throughout the island.

We cannot wait to see their community’s glass sand projects at Andela! Stay tuned to our blog as we deliver The Exchange’s new glass crusher and as we learn more about the successes of their program. Also, if you want to learn more about our glass recycling solutions, please call us at (315) 858-0055. We would be happy to discuss your options to help enable you, your organization, or your community to recycle and reuse glass waste.

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