Glass-making is a grubby, artistic process that turns Cinderella-like dirty garbage into fairy-tale like beauty and shine! Glass recycling turns non-biodegradable glass products into re-fashioned, usable items again, rather than filling landfills.
First the glass to be recycled has to be sorted and cleaned carefully. If it is mixed with the wrong materials, the later product will have impurities and will be prone to breakage. At the recycling plant, glass is sorted by color, washed and processed until it is clean and ready to be made into new glass.
Recycling plants crush clean, sorted glass into a material known as cullet. Cullet is in high demand from glass manufacturers, because it’s cheaper than raw materials and melts at a lower temperature. Manufacturers mix cullet with sand, soda ash and limestone. The mixture is then heated to between 2,600 and 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit, making liquid glass. The liquid is used to make new glass products.
The special collection of recycled glass products found at Zocalo, such as vases, salad bowls, pitchers and drinking glasses, use recycled glass that is then hand-blown and formed into bright, artistic items, again ready for your table.
Indeed, it is truly fairy-tale amazing what beauty can come from what we’d otherwise call garbage!