Glass Recycling Foundation awards nearly $200,000 in grants to support glass recycling
Glass can be recycled endlessly, however, only one-third of glass is currently recovered for recycling. The Glass Recycling Foundation (GRF) is making efforts to increase glass recycling in the U.S. by providing grants that increase glass recycling by upgrading equipment for cleaning recycled glass, providing collection containers for glass drop-offs, supporting pilot projects, developing resident education, and other glass recovery projects.
The GRF released its 2022 Impact Report highlighting nearly $200,000 in grants that supported projects diverting almost 600 tons or 1,200,000 pounds of glass from landfills. The grants were made possible by donations from Anheuser-Busch Foundation, Corona, the Glass Packaging Institute, and Diageo.
"Over nine million tons of glass go to landfills each year in the U.S.," says Scott DeFife, president of GRF and president of the Glass Packaging Institute. "This valuable material is being lost. We need to invest in our collection and sorting infrastructure to close the gap and get more recycled material into containers and fibreglass."
The GRF is opening the application period for the next round of grants on May 17, 2023. Eligible grantees include non-profit entities, municipal governments, public waste management districts, glass collectors, material recovery facilities (MRFs), glass beneficiators, and manufacturers. Applications must be submitted by July 7, 2023.
"Many communities and recyclers recognize the benefits of recycling glass but struggle to do so because of a lack of funding," says Laura Hennemann, secretary of GRF and senior vice president of sustainability and corporate affairs at Strategic Materials Inc. "Donations from stakeholders in the glass recycling value chain make it possible for the GRF to support efforts that create long-term sustainable programs for glass recycling."
Recent projects supported by a GRF grant
- Fairfax, Virginia: GRF grant funding of $5,000, matched by the City of Fairfax, will cover costs to design and procure 3,000 reusable tote bags. The totes will be distributed to residents to use to safely transport their glass containers to drop-off locations.
- Justice Industries (Brentwood, Tennessee): Justice Industries, a nonprofit organization that creates social enterprise businesses to provide jobs for people with barriers to employment, received a $5,000 GRF grant to purchase 35 green 96-gallon carts to expand commercial glass collection in the Nashville area.