- Denver-based Clear Intentions has set up five new glass-only recycling locations in Fort Collins, with clearly visible, labeled drop-off boxes. The company hauls the glass, sorts it by color, and processes it before selling it, donating some of its revenue to nonprofits.
- The facility collects about 25 tons of glass per month, and Clear Intentions’ goal is to recycle 100% of it, according to Vice President Todd Lehman.
- In addition to this free drop-off service, Clear Intentions offers a Denver-based program for businesses called Glass Valet, bringing the glass recycling receptacles directly to the companies’ sites.
Clear Intentions started its glass recycling program to offer a convenient way to separate the commodity, which has value but can contaminate other waste. The company is targeting millennials, according to Lehman.
"Twenty-somethings, we kind of get pegged for not caring," he told the Coloradoan. "We’ve found that to be completely not true, especially when it comes to recycling."
The company and its citizens — young and old — are adding value to what would otherwise be dumped, or at best, discarded in single-stream recycling bins, rendering it less marketable.
"When glass is collected separately, it just is more valuable because it’s not mixed with other stuff, so it can go straight into these huge furnaces that they use to melt the glass down," said Susie Gordon, a senior environmental planner with the city of Fort Collins.
Currently, about 12,000 tons of glass end up in Colorado landfills each month. Only about 17% of Denver’s recyclable glass is recycled. The company hopes the program gains momentum.
"It hasn’t been very long, so we’ve really been testing it out to see what we can do, see how this can work … hopefully at the beginning of December, we can start rolling out more [in Fort Collins]," said Lehman.