Ripple Glass is pushing Kansas City toward zero waste
- Kansas City, MO-based Ripple Glass is helping get the city — which sends millions of tons of glass to landfills — to change its practices so that the city can reach zero waste.
- Originally, the landfill was the only option for glass disposal because there was no nearby glass processing site. That gave Boulevard Beer founder, John MacDonald, the impetus to recycle and process glass. He started Ripple Glass with Boulevard Beer as the plant's biggest customer with millions of empty beer bottles.
- In its first year, Ripple Glass recycled 6,000 tons of bottles. Now, six years later, the company is processing more than 35,000 tons. MacDonald says the company is not a financial success so far, but he is satisfied "in terms of doing the right thing."
Nationwide glass recycling is at crossroads with many facilities decrying its lack of profitability. However, the concept is working and growing in Kansas City.
Faultless Starch Bon Ami, another Kansas City company making strides in diverting waste from the landfill, says the company has always been mindful of the environment.
"When people do the right thing and view waste as an asset and a resource, you start to turn things around," said Scott Brown of Faultless. After receiving a grant from the Mid-America Regional Council, the company ramped up its efforts and took 14,000 bottles out of the waste stream.
Although zero waste is an enormous and difficult goal to reach, the city is taking the right steps to becoming more eco-friendly and waste-free, one bottle at a time.