Missoula Companies Provide Glass Recycling Despite Obstacles - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Missoula Companies Provide Glass Recycling Despite Obstacles

Posted: Updated:
MISSOULA - Recycling glass is a practice dating back to colonial times and is a wide-spread policy throughout the country and world.

In the Big Sky state, the routine, process, and utilization remain ideas of the future.

Still, many in the Missoula Valley are eager to keep their part of the nearly 50 tons of glass consumed by Montanans annually out of the dump and put it to a better use.

"When it's broken down it's inert, so it doesn't really leech out or do anything to the environment. So people are like 'we'll throw it away it's just like a rock' but what it does is it adds volume," explains i.e. Recycling owner, Martin NoRunner.

Keeping open country from being spotted with landfills is what drove NoRunner to start his own curbside recycling service, called Intergenerational Equity Recycling, in 2010.

But what set's i.e. apart from other curbside services? They'll gladly take your glass.

"There's definitely the want to recycle from Missoula, glass specifically, as well as all recyclable materials. "

NoRunner taps into Missoulians desire to keep glass, a 100% recyclable material, out of the landfills.

NoRunner's glass is picked up from residences and businesses and stored at the Rocky Mountain Rail Yard, where he planned to pulverize it, load it into train cars, and ship it the Coors factory in Colorado.

That was until weeks ago when a recycling company in Livingston that did the same thing had to shut down, leaving NoRunner with tons of glass and few solutions.

"Now we're up the creek without a paddle," NoRunner says. "The best use for it would be locally. We have a pulverizer, which we have been pulverizing glass since 2012, but there's no market in Missoula or really the Montana area where people want to use it as an aggregate to replace gravel."

Commonly, pulverized glass is used as an aggregate, to replace gravel and be used for paving roads and filling potholes.

The Department of Environmental Quality says the cost of shipping glass and not having bottling plants close to Montana are two factors that push glass into the aggregate market as a low value commodity, meaning to businesses and city departments, gravel is a more cost-effective option.

But one of i.e Recycling's partners, Bayern Brewery, suggests re-using glass locally goes beyond aggregates and infrastructures.

"We decided to recycle and use glass bottles. We also return 6-pack carriers and cases from our distributors. We're taking a technology and a thought process going on pretty much all over the world right now and we're trying to implement it in Montana," says Jared Spiker, Marketing and Communications Director for Bayern Brewery.

For years, Spiker says the brewery has collected bottles with the idea of cutting down on their customers waste, becoming more sustainable, and keeping money in the hands of Montanans.

"The way we kind of look at it here at Bayern is we buy this glass and that money is being spent with a glass company out of state. But 80% of Bayern is consumed within Montana, so that means Montanans are paying for it and we want to put the money that this glass costs back in the hands of the Montanans that are actually consuming this glass," Spiker says.

Bayern collects brown glass bottles no matter what brewery or company they came from, as long as they fit a certain size, and are free of chips and design.

They also run the bottles through a high pressure washer that's the only one of its type in the country.

The end result? About 60% of their glass is re-used.

"We look at the 50,000 bottles a week that we bottle, if we don't do something that's going to wind up in our backyards."

The brewery hopes that grows beyond their tap room.

"A goal for us, we would like to be taking in more glass than we actually re-use which would allow us to then give other breweries the same glass that we use since every Montana beer company uses the same glass. We would like to then provide other Montana breweries with the same glass we're using in our same operation," Spiker says.

Bayern pays five cents for every bottle returned and 10 cents for every six-pack.

Spiker says they take in about 250 cases of returned bottles a week and the drop off hours are the same as the brewery hours, 12 p.m.- 8 p.m. every day of the week.



  • NationalMore>>

  • Flight bans show skittishness over trouble spots

    Flight bans show skittishness over trouble spots

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:21 AM EDT2014-07-23 09:21:11 GMT
    By The Associated Press Delta Air Lines is canceling all flights to Israel until further notice, citing reports that a rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport.
    By The Associated Press When U.S. and European airlines quickly canceled flights to Israel on Tuesday, they showed both a skittishness and a new sense of urgency in dealing with global trouble spots...
  • With GOP runoff over, Perdue and Nunn face off

    With GOP runoff over, Perdue and Nunn face off

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 4:43 AM EDT2014-07-23 08:43:45 GMT
    Now that Georgia Republicans have settled on businessman David Perdue as their nominee for the state's open Senate seat, the real battle begins with a marquee match-up in the fall against Democrat Michelle Nunn...
    Now that Georgia Republicans have settled on businessman David Perdue as their nominee for the state's open Senate seat, the real battle begins with a marquee match-up in the fall against Democrat Michelle Nunn that...
  • First Amendment fight won't stop Arizona execution

    First Amendment fight won't stop Arizona execution

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:17 AM EDT2014-07-23 07:17:09 GMT
    The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for Arizona to carry out its third execution in the past year Wednesday following a closely watched First Amendment fight over the secrecy surrounding lethal injection drugs.
    The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for Arizona to carry out its third execution in the past year Wednesday following a closely watched First Amendment fight over the secrecy surrounding lethal injection drugs.
  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:51 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:51:52 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.
  • Many Frustrated By Stalled Cobell Settlements

    Many Frustrated By Stalled Cobell Settlements

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-07-17 01:30:30 GMT
    In Congress Wednesday, the group in charge of doling out Cobell settlement claims says it's waiting on setting exact amounts and a judge's okay before making the rest of the payments.
    In Congress Wednesday, the group in charge of doling out Cobell settlement claims says it's waiting on setting exact amounts and a judge's okay before making the rest of the payments.
  • UPDATE: Search and Rescue Efforts Continue for Flathead Kayaker

    UPDATE: Search and Rescue Efforts Continue for Flathead Kayaker

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:04 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:04:28 GMT
    The search for a missing kayaker will continue Monday on Flathead Lake, it's surrounding shores and the Flathead River, after he's been missing for more than 24 hours.
    The search for a missing kayaker will continue Monday on Flathead Lake, it's surrounding shores and the Flathead River, after he's been missing for more than 24 hours.
  • FIRST ON KHQ.COM: Clay Starbuck Sentenced To Life In Prison Without Parole

    FIRST ON KHQ.COM: Clay Starbuck Sentenced To Life In Prison Without Parole

    Thursday, July 18 2013 8:07 PM EDT2013-07-19 00:07:03 GMT
    UPDATE: A Spokane County judge has sentenced Clay Starbuck to life in prison without the possibility of parole for torturing and killing his ex-wife.
    UPDATE: A Spokane County judge has sentenced Clay Starbuck to life in prison without the possibility of parole for torturing and killing his ex-wife. The 48-year-old Deer Park man was convicted by a jury last month and sentenced on Thursday.
  • Carlton Complex Fire now 250,136 acres; 2,500+ firefighters on scene

    Carlton Complex Fire now 250,136 acres; 2,500+ firefighters on scene

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 2:47 AM EDT2014-07-23 06:47:59 GMT
    UPDATE: The Carlton Complex is now the largest wild land fire ever to burn in the State of Washington. The perimeter of this fire is more than 100 miles long. The total acreage burned is 250,136 acres. 
    UPDATE: The Carlton Complex is now the largest wild land fire ever to burn in the State of Washington. The perimeter of this fire is more than 100 miles long. The total acreage burned is 250,136 acres. A total of 2500+ firefighters and support personnel are assigned to the incident. The fire is 16% contained.
  • So Good: Fast Pitch Duo of Ray and Walker

    So Good: Fast Pitch Duo of Ray and Walker

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 7:57 PM EDT2014-07-16 23:57:19 GMT
    After being some of the state's best for separate teams in different cities, Frenchtown's Morgan Ray and Deer Lodge's Dani Walker have combined forces on the Montana Avalanche Fastpitch softball team.
    After being some of the state's best for separate teams in different cities, Frenchtown's Morgan Ray and Deer Lodge's Dani Walker have combined forces on the Montana Avalanche Fastpitch softball team.
  • Bugg Road fire near Tonasket

    Bugg Road fire near Tonasket

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:29 PM EDT2014-07-22 18:29:21 GMT
    KHQ.COM- UPDATE: The Bugg Road fire burning 7 miles east of Tonasket, WA and has destroyed one structure and expanded to 1,700 acres on Tuesday.This fire started on Monday and by the end of the day had burned 1,000 acres. Air support and dozers are trying to keep the fire in check.
    KHQ.COM- UPDATE: The Bugg Road fire burning 7 miles east of Tonasket, WA and has destroyed one structure and expanded to 1,700 acres on Tuesday.This fire started on Monday and by the end of the day had burned 1,000 acres. Air support and dozers are trying to keep the fire in check.
  • Pateros Man Helps Save School From Fire

    Pateros Man Helps Save School From Fire

    Monday, July 21 2014 3:28 AM EDT2014-07-21 07:28:32 GMT
    The town of Pateros has hit particularly hard by the Carlton Complex Fire, more than 100 homes have been lost there.
    The town of Pateros has hit particularly hard by the Carlton Complex Fire, more than 100 homes have been lost there.