New business may enable residents to recycle glass

The days of lugging bags full of empty bottles to the curb soon may be ending in the district if Greg and Kathy Stahn’s gamble pays off.
The Stahns, who operate Greg’s Recycling near Devlin, have invested in an experiment which not only may reduce the amount of glass going into local landfills, but also create a whole new industry.
Glass-Sand is a new business recently opened by Kathy Stahn, which involves converting glass into sand by grinding it down in a special machine purchased just for that purpose.
Greg Stahn first made mention of this at the last meeting of Emo council on Sept. 7, when he announced he now will accept glass at a cost of 10 cents/pound instead of sending it to the landfill.
“I haven’t yet found a market for it [glass], but we’re looking into it,” he said last weekend.
There are a number of possibilities. The end product can be used as artificial sand in planters or aquariums. Stahn even is looking into the possibility of selling it for use in sandblasters if they can control the size of the grains produced when the glass is ground up.
Stahn noted glass actually is safer to use as scouring material because it produces less raw silica dust—which is toxic if inhaled.
“The silica is locked inside the glass when it’s made and it seems to stay there when it’s ground,” he explained.
The Stahns still are looking for buyers, but even if they don’t find any, the project is considered worthwhile because the grinding process reduces the volume of glass by a factor of five.
So even if it still winds up in landfill, it will take up considerably less valuable space.
Also, in that state, it is quite environmentally-benign. “If nothing else turns up, I’ll just spread it on my driveway,” Greg Stahn quipped.