If you live in Savannah you probably do some form of recycling. Plastic, aluminum, cardboard and glass all go in one bin. But there are a few misconceptions on where your glass is actually going. Malena A. Gauss the owner of Lammergeier Glass is here to educate us, as well as, provide an economical solution to this issue. Read below for some answers to some important questions and please sign up today to protect our future.
What is a Lammergier?
A Lammergeier is a vulture. Often viewed by many as the bottom feeders of the planet, they actually have one of the most important roles in our eco-system: Crushing and devouring waste turning it into valuable nutrients for our earth. That is precisely what my company is now doing with glass.
Where did you gain your passion and start for recycling glass?
While I was a general manger at Alligator Soul I discovered the sheer volume of glass being used and began saving glass bottles to make things out of. From that passion I decided to open my own business in January of 2020 focusing primarily on lighting and glass bottle upcycling. Ghost Coast Distillery was my first dedicated supplier of recycled glass bottles. They saved them every week and I picked them up to create and sell custom light fixtures with. I also made cocktail tumblers by cutting and using the bottom portion of their bottles. As with a lot of start-up companies I was forced to shut down the business when the pandemic started. However, this gave me an opportunity for research which I the need for Lammergier Glass.
I already pay for recycling and I thought glass was included in that fee?
Out of the 8 municipalities in Chatham County, The City of Savannah is the only one allowing glass in the recycle bin where it is collected and then sorted for private landfill. This is due to the current municipal contract and the stipulations of single-stream collection.
What does Lammergier offer that is different?
My company has implemented a dual-stream. (Glass is separated out from other recyclables prior to being collected.) This not only ensures 100% recycle rate for glass but can assist with the overwhelming contamination rates that The City of Savannah faces due to liquids and glass breakage among other things. This dual-stream solution provides Chatham County residents the ability to recycle glass when they otherwise did not have an option.
What happens to the glass once it is collected by Lammergier?
I am currently working out the funding and logistics to expand into a larger facility and aggregating materials. This expanded space will then house the processing equipment which will crush the glass into usable supply for bottle manufacturers, fiberglass, construction, and water reclamation companies.
Why is it so important to pay an additional minimal fee to allow Lammergier to recycle our household glass?
Glass is the only material that can be endlessly recycled without losing any of its quality or purity. Once it ends up in a landfill, it will take millions of years to degrade naturally. The State of Georgia has 10 manufacturing facilities alone that can use and are in need of recycled glass for their operations. Commercial businesses can also save costs on their waste removal fees which are charged based on volume. By supporting glass recycling in our community, hundreds of thousands of tons are eliminated from landfills every year and reduces the need for dredging up raw material which is wreaking havoc on our eco-system.
I am willing to pay $10 (may vary depending on location) to help my community and future generations. What is my next step?
Once a customer signs up via the website savannahglassrecycling.com they will receive a confirmation email thanking them and saying hello. A digital service agreement is emailed explaining in detail what can and cannot be recycled, as well as, the process. When that is emailed back, arrangements are made to drop off their 18 Gal collection bin in the location of their choosing. (Curbside not required, as I understand the bin does not have wheels). Their first collection date is scheduled based on their frequency of pick-up. (Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Monthly) Reminders are always sent the day before service and then a monthly invoice is emailed after the glass is collected. The entire process is contactless for social distancing and safety concerns in lieu of the pandemic. We sanitize every bin after every collection.
I don’t know if I have enough glass to fill up a 18 gallon container and so am hesitant about the extra money per month?
Residents who are interested in recycling their glass but don’t have large volumes are more than welcome to share a bin with neighbors or their community or simply call when the bin is full.
What if I drink a lot of wine and the bin fills up fast (asking for a friend)?
You can set up the frequency of your pick up according to your volume.