Joint-venture glass container facility opens in Oregon

Joint-venture glass container facility opens in Oregon

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Dec. 18, 2013

Glass to Glass, a glass container processing facility, is up and running in Portland, Oregon.

A joint venture between publicly traded glass manufacturer Owens-Illinois (O-I) and Palo Alto, California-based glass processor eCullet, the facility had its grand opening Dec. 12, drawing city and state officials along with industry stakeholders and members of the press. The processing facility will supply sorted cullet to O-I's nearby manufacturing plant, which will use the glass in the manufacture of new bottles and jars.

In a press release, O-I plant manager Pedro Tchmola explained that the partnership will provide O-I with valuable, sorted glass. "O-I is pleased to partner with eCullet on this new facility. … [It] will help us reduce our use of virgin raw materials, lowering our overall environmental impact," Tchmola stated.

Beyond its proximity to O-I's existing Portland plant, which employs about 200 people and provides glass bottles to a number of local microbreweries, Portland's supply of "high-quality" glass was a major draw for I-O and eCullet. According to the Container Recycling Institute, Oregonians recycled about 79 percent of glass in 2012. Portland operates a "single-stream plus" collection paradigm, in which residents keep glass separate from other recyclables.

Construction on the new facility began in June and led to 75 construction jobs. Approximately 15 employees will work at Glass to Glass.

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