- Ripple Glass, a Kansas City, MO-based glass recycling company servicing seven states, has quadrupled glass recycling in Kansas City since it first launched in 2009, as reported by Kansas City Business Journal. The city now recycles about 20% of its glass annually, as compared to 5% before the company launched.
- EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy toured Ripple Glass earlier this week, telling the Journal, "I have not seen an operation this local before that connected the dots in such a defined way."
- Ripple Glass CEO Mike Utz noted that while there are plenty of collection bins in place around the city, more residents need to take advantage of the opportunity to recycle glass in order for the company to grow.
In a 2015 interview with The Wall Street Journal, sustainability officer Gray Russell said that glass has become "the scourge of recycling" across the industry due to how difficult, dangerous and expensive it is to process. This issue was seen recently in Houston where Waste Management had to eliminate curbside glass recycling from its services because the operation was not profitable.
The process is, however, profitable for the companies that invest in the proper infrastructure. In Houston, glass processing company Strategic Materials agreed to collect glass across the city after Waste Management backed out, as Strategic Materials focuses specifically on the commodity and has prioritized its recycling. The same holds true for Ripple Glass. As a glass-exclusive recycler, the company has overcome the challenges of recycling glass in ways that industry giants like Waste Management have not yet been able to do.
Once Ripple Glass is able to further spread awareness about glass recycling across the Kansas City community, its supply of glass will be enough to sell to more customers. With support from big-name officials like McCarthy, this business goal doesn't seem far-fetched.