Glass Recycling Timeline


GLASS WASTE GENERATION 1999-2014 | TOTAL MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE GENERATION RATES IN UNITED STATES (EPA)

1999 Generation Rates
2006 Generation Rates
2014 Generation Rates

  • 2016

    • Target ceases glass recycling program due to contamination and a lack of infrastructure across the state.
  • 2015

    • Over 24 tons of recycled glass rocks are used in the Provo Center gardens in Missoula.
    • Xanterra Parks & Resorts acquire over 54 tons of recycled glass to use in the concrete foundation of the new Columbia Falls garage that houses the famous Glacier Park Red Bus tour vehicles. Xanterra also tests adding recycled glass in curb and gutter repair at the Village Inn at Apgar.
  • 2014

    • Ash Grove Cement in Montana City takes recycled glass from the City of Helena. Glass is stockpiled when a 50 tons per month capacity is met.
    • Four Corners Recycling outside of Belgrade processes the glass collected at Target in Bozeman.
    • Target in Missoula notifies customers that if contaminates are found in the glass recycling container, the entire load is taken to the landfill. Problems persist.
  • 2012

    • Helena uses glass cullet in sand mix on winter roads. Some residents believe it causes damage to their vehicles.
    • Ecomatrix Solutions manufactures sustainable, structural-grade cement made primarily from fly ash and pulverized glass. Glass is procured from the Livingston pulverizer. Dirty glass and labels often contaminate the product.
    • The Legion Oasis affordable housing project in Butte uses recycled glass as landscaping rocks.
    • Solar Roadways, Inc. uses 30 tons of Montana recycled glass in a pilot project due to its high quality.
  • 2011

    • House Bill 594 requires recycled materials, including glass, be used in new highway construction when the cost is lower or equal to new materials.
    • Helena ReStore begins selling recycled glass landscaping rocks.
  • 2010

    • DEQ writes the Montana Public Works Standards Specifications, the quidebook for contractors outlining acceptable recycled materials for use in construction.
    • The Hayfield Estates Subdivision in Helena uses glass cullet for septic field fill.
    • The Missoula Federal Credit Union, Russell Street Branch, uses concrete made up of 100 percent fly ash and recycled glass, and no Portland cement, throughout the entire structure. The LEED certified building is believed to be the first of its kind in the world.
    • Bayern Brewing in Missoula purchases a glass bottle washing machine. The brewery buys back its bottles and other qualifying bottles for five cents per bottle as long as they arrive in the company’s Ecopacks, contain no garbage, and have no chips.
    • Ten Spoon Winery in Missoula begins washing and re-using bottles, saving an estimated 60 percent of the cost of purchasing new bottles.
    • The C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls builds its trails in the Russell Riders Sculpture Garden using over 1,000 tons of recycled glass.
  • 2009

    • Yellowstone Art Museum paves its parking lot with 5,700 square feet of recycled glass material Filterpave, keeping 501,600 beer bottles out of the landfill.
    • The ITSD Data Center in Helena uses 132 cubic yards of pulverized waste glass as stormwater drainage around its building.
  • 2008

    • High Plains Architects use a mixture of pulverized waste glass and fly ash as an alternative to a standard concrete floor in its new office building in Billings.
    • Glassroots in Bozeman creates tiles from waste glass collected from Yellowstone National Park.
    • The City of Livingston purchases a glass pulverizer with help from DEQ and with a grant through the Department of Natural Resources & Conservation.
  • 2007

    • The DEQ works with Eliminite, an onsite wastewater treatment company in Belgrade, to use recycled glass cullet in all phases of its business. Glass sand is used in production of MetaRocks, which provide for nitrogen reduction and overall advanced wastewater treatment. Three eighths-minus glass cullet is used as tank bedding.
  • 2006

    • Missoula Valley Recycling ends glass recycling due to handling and hauling costs.
    • Headwaters Cooperative Recycling pulverizer recycled 2,000 tons of waste glass into aggregate used in projects across the state.
    • The 10,000 square-foot parking lot of the Northern Plains Resource Council is repaved with Gravelpave2, a semi-permeable paving product containing recycled glass.
    • The DEQ and the Montana Department of Transportation partner to use 1,000 tons of recycled glass from the Boulder Landfill in a road project known as the “Curve,” northeast of Whitehall. Pulverized glass was mixed with aggregate and used as a base course.
    • The Bozeman Landfill uses pulverized glass to landscape around its liquid propane tanks.
  • 2003/2005

    • New World Recycling starts glass pulverizing in the Flathead Valley.
    • Headwaters Cooperative Recycling acquires a mobile glass pulverizer.
  • 1998

    • Glassphalt, an asphalt alternative that uses crushed glass, is used in the Mammoth parking lot in Yellowstone National Park.
    • Missoula resurfaces 3,000 feet of Mullan Road using recycled asphalt, concrete, and glass.
    • The Center for Resourceful Building Technology in Missoula receives a grant to foster the use of recycled glass in building materials.
  • 1997

    • Headwaters Recycling Cooperative begins services in southwest Montana.
    • Bozeman uses a DEQ grant to develop a a project to crush locally generated waste glass along with gravel and incorporate the resulting mix in construction projects.
    • Great Falls receives a DEQ grant to demonstrate the use of recycled glass as road-building material.
    • DEQ grants a permit to Ashgrove Cement Company of Montana City to annually recycle 250 tons of post-consumer glass into its cement

  • Glass breaks easily and can create safety hazards for those involved with handling and transportation.
  • Glass manufacturers have extremely high standards for recycled glass. Any foreign material that makes it past the glass recycling processing equipment can cause imperfections in containers, making it potentially unsafe for consumers – a big liability for glass manufacturers.
  • Virgin glass is cheap to produce, while transporting used glass the distance needed to turn it back into container glass is economically challenging. Montana’s closest recycled glass markets are Seattle and Denver.
  • A major hurdle for glass recycling is transportation costs. Collection, transportation, and processing costs negatively impact Montana’s small-scale recycling programs.
  • Montana has a population of 1.04 million people spread across 147,164 square miles. Compare that to Seattle’s population of 652,405 people across 83.78 square miles, or San Diego’s population of 1.356 million across 372.4 square miles, and you get a sense of how far our relatively small amount of glass waste has to travel to get to a distribution center.