ERGC Meeting Minutes
May 17, 2021 - 6 pm- 7:20 pm
Held at the glass crushing site. Attempted to also use Zoom for those who were unable to attend in person but the internet connection was not good enough.
Ramona and Walter Bryant
April recapped previous month’s minutes
Focus on individuals rather than businesses for now. Later we can think about incentives for businesses.
Heavy bottles causing machine parts to wear out more quickly than expected, so more funds are needed.
Hammer sets are $250, bottom screen is $250
Tami crushed the most glass! 460 lbs
Jack took the most sand – 500 lbs – using it to try to fix creek drainage
Kris is going to use large amount of crushed glass for her own pathways and mulch. Neighbors will do the same.
There’s a county subcommittee meeting this week.
Suzanne explained the grant Circular Innovative Challenge through Good Business Seattle. EGRC is one of five finalists. All finalists have access to training (Suzanne calls it an MBA program) that will help the create a pitch to present about their project.
The other finalists include two textile recycling programs, a bioplastics plan, and a company that turns ugly fruit into powder for smoothies.
Suzanne created a new logo – a picture of a bottle in the middle of sand and is using the name New Sand. The goal for the project is to show that there is a market for crushed glass. Suzanne is creating a 2-pager brochure and video. Carl from the Daily Record is reviewing this piece and Jerry Aldridge is helping with the video. The video will be five minutes and will be edited down to 2-3 minutes. It will include statistics and clips that show that this is a community initiative. If anyone has videos or photos from their days crushing, send them to Suzanne.
Kleen Blast in Tacoma, a wholesaler for sand blasting companies is interested in buying clean (no paper contaminates) from clear glass. Would pay $14 for 50 lbs.
Marty Falshore has created bags to be used as sand bags by splitting feed bags in two and stitching/surging the sides. She estimates they will hold 50 lbs of glass sand.
She’s also cutting wine bottles and using the bottoms of the bottles, turned upside down, to line her garden beds to keep the grass out. She can use the bottles that are too thick for us to use in the crusher.
Jack commended everyone for community donations. Currently rethinking the financial side of things. The estimated costs were originally based on the machine going through 8 tons of glass but the machine was made for lighter bottles (1/2 to 3/4 lbs each). We are currently only crushing 3.5 tons of glass before having to replace parts. The parts that wear out are the rotating hammers and the large metal screen that sits at the bottom.
The suspicion is that heavier bottles are the culprit. After the one-year warranty expires, we can experiment with reinforcing parts or manufacturing our own replacement parts.
ACTION ITEM – create wording for ambassadors to share with those collecting glass to crush to explain what is acceptable – i.e. cheap wine bottles, food jars, beer bottles
This is eating into funds needed for the garage doors for the shed ($3,000), and the leveler ($5,500 with shipping), which vibrates to sift crushed glass into five different grits. So he suggests creating a Go Fund Me campaign to raise $10,000.
There is now a lockbox in the shed near the crusher to deposit cash and check donations given to ambassadors. Jack will take responsibility for collecting these to deposit.
We will soon have the use of the entire shed.
Chelan has the next level up machine, which is about $100,000. That machine couldn’t be used in the shed, but our goal is to demonstrate that there is a market for crushed glass so that the county will eventually take over the program and they can get the larger machine.
Chelan had support from their county and city. They are using the glass for beaches which is officially rated GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe).
We could use an acetylene torch to smooth out the edge of cut bottles and sell them as glassware.
There will likely soon be a shortage of pozzolana, which is used in cement because it is generally sourced from fly ash of coal plants. Finely crushed glass could be a marketable substitute.
In 2018 there were 250 tons of glass recycled in Kittitas County. Rather than aiming to collect as much glass as possible, we should see ourselves as a demonstration project. It’s not an issue of not having enough glass, it’s an issue of processing the glass we are currently collecting.
Farmer’s Market discussion
Alternative, which would be free, is renting the pavilion through Parks and Rec
Brad Case is the person to discuss logistics
Could use it as a fundraiser, explaining what we are doing – trying to elevate the need for recycling on a larger level
Maybe end of July
Or could wait until next year
Discussion of plastic labels on glassware and desire to do something
Ultimately creating legislation to incentivize use of paper labels (tax use of plastic labels) would be best method, but reaching out to individual companies in the meantime could be good
ACTION ITEM – create letter template to send to companies that use plastic labels
Goals for next month:
Two action items listed above (creating letter to send to companies using plastic labels and letter/wording to share with those collecting glass that says what types of glass can be collected so we aren’t collecting thick glass that will wear out the machine quickly)
Remember to clean the two small metal air filters on the front of the machine. They easily come off and can be tapped on the plywood on the ground around the machine or vacuumed
Continue to look for uses for the ground glass
Notes recorded by Diana Goodrich