5 Creative Ways to Use Recycled Glass Outdoors
Reducing energy consumption and minimizing single-use items are major steps for preserving the planet and protecting our health. Still, there’s more we can do to reduce landfill waste. Oftentimes, glass bottles, jars, drinkware, mirrors, and more, are dumped into landfills despite homeowners’ best recycling efforts. Many would be surprised to know that although glass bottles and jars are 100% recyclable, an estimated 28 billion are buried in landfills annually. Even worse, once glass reaches the landfill, it can take up to 1 million years to decompose! That’s why we build glass-crushing and pulverizing systems for communities like yours!
Here are 5 creative ways to use recycled glass outdoors:
- Rain Garden: Rain gardens are specifically designed to collect and absorb rainwater runoff from roofs, driveways, and other surfaces. Typically, rain gardens do not include recycled glass, but studies have found that incorporating a mix of pulverized recycled glass sand and compost, for a 60% compost to 40% glass sand mix, amplifies a rain garden’s ability to filter pollutants and recharge groundwater. Compost supplies the organics, and glass sand is a highly stable filtration medium that perks better than regular sand, does not break down, and holds moisture during drier times.
- Mulch Substitute: Crushed recycled glass, also known as glass aggregate, is a great mulch substitute. Add it to garden beds or landscaping areas for a unique and visually appealing look. Glass is long-lasting; it never rots or breaks down. An efficient insulator, it helps protect a plant’s roots from extreme temperatures. Glass mulch holds moisture below the surface, improving root growth. And it deters insects, slugs, and other pests.
- Pavers: Landscapers and architects often add decorative pavers to their designs. Recycled glass pavers are manufactured by either combining recycled glass sand with a concrete mix or combining recycled glass sand with a recycled plastic composite. Spread glass sand and glass aggregate under and around recycled pavers to create beautiful well-drained beds for long-lasting, durable installations.
- Play Sand: Post-consumer glass processed through our Andela Products glass pulverizing systems can safely be used as sand for many outdoor recreational activities, including sandboxes, playgrounds, arts and crafts, landscaping, and decorative pathways. Let’s have fun and reduce landfill waste!
- Hydroponic Gardening: Did you know that recycled pulverized glass can be used as a hydroponic growing medium? It keeps roots supported while allowing water and nutrients to circulate. Recycled glass sand is made of amorphous silica which provides a ready and available supply of Silicic Acid (SiOH combinations) that the plant needs for structure and growth. Reusable, too! When the glass media gets saturated with organics from the roots, it can be washed and repurposed, avoiding the need to dispose of any rooting media.
Don’t underestimate the power of small changes – even little things make a big difference! Contribute to a healthier planet by encouraging post-consumer glass recycling in your local community. Every little bit counts when it comes to reducing waste and creating a more sustainable future!
Want to learn more new and novel ways to reuse recycled glass? Check out this photo gallery for ideas.