In 2009, Kansas Citians threw away 150 million pounds of perfectly good glass. To the dismay of the people at Boulevard Brewing Company, this included some 10 million empty Boulevard bottles – lost forever, buried in local landfills.
Why was it so hard to recycle glass? Because there was no nearby facility to process the glass. And why no local processor? Because there was almost no local recycling effort. The folks at Boulevard finally got tired of being part of the problem. So, with the support of local companies and community organizations, they came up with a solution—Ripple Glass.
Ripple constructed a state-of-the-art processing plant and placed large, dedicated glass recycling bins throughout the metro area to collect glass. A local customer was found that converts the recycled glass into fiberglass insulation, saving enormous amounts of energy and dramatically lowering emissions, and a business in Tulsa was found that turns amber glass back into bottles, including those used by Boulevard!
The Ripple effect has spread. Beautiful purple bins can now be found in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. Ripple’s original Kansas City facility is processing glass from all over the region, helping over 100 communities across nine states keep glass out of their landfills while giving it the new life it deserves.
In September of 2023, Ripple Glass was acquired by Strategic Materials, Inc. (SMI), North America’s most comprehensive glass recycler. This will allow the Ripple Glass collection efforts to expand to new cities and recycle even more glass.
It’s a great way to close the loop, protect the environment, support area businesses and even make homes more energy efficient. But, it only works with your help.
Help us do the right thing. Help us give glass a second chance.