ANCHORAGE - Anchorage residents have been great about recycling their glass. Since the program began last November, almost 400 tons of glass has been dropped off at the recycling center on Dowling road and the number of pounds is growing every month. But it wasn't until very recently that the glass started being put to a good use.Central Recycling Services near Ship Creek is grinding up the glass into a product that can be used in construction projects around the state. The bottles and jars are fed into a giant crushing machine that turns it first into gravel-sized pieces and eventually into a finer product that has the feel of rough sand.
The crushed glass has been approved by both the city and state to be used in a variety of public construction projects including road bedding, back fill and pipe bedding. The first large-scale project is happening in Spenard, where the glass is being used to fill in around the pipes of a new sewer system.“It helps to keep the pipe in place,” said AWWU engineer James Armstrong. “It compacts well and fills in around the pipe and provides good support for it so I think it’s a good fit.”
The crushed glass isn’t turning a big profit, although Central Recycling Services says it is breaking even. It says the biggest benefit is keeping tons of glass out of the landfill every year.