Recycling of glass proves a bright idea
The Bannockburn Hotel is crushing the thousands of bottles emptied in its bar and using them to pave the car park, the beer garden walkways and to create a sparkling waterfall. Owner Tim Hanna said it was a disgrace the Central Otago District’s recycled glass was carted to Auckland. The glass generated by his hotel would instead be crushed and used to replace shingle on the car park and walkways. The glass-crushing machine smoothed the edges so it was comfortable to walk on. Crushed glass would also be sprayed on to the wall behind a waterfall in the hotel’s garden, to create a reflective surface. "We can use a lot of material and use it positively . . . have something inexpensive that works. "It looks brilliant. It is arresting to look at." The crushing machine was owned by Cromwell businessman, Rory Alexander, who said there was a huge market for crushed glass. "We have up to 27 different uses." Crushed green glass had been used instead of grass at a property in Alexandra’s Molyneux Park subdivision, taking the pressure off the owner’s water bill for irrigation. Driveway contractors, artists and candle-makers were also buying the crushed glass, along with people who used it instead of pebbles in their aquariums, Mr Alexander said. There was also demand from countries where crushed glass was not available, such as Malaysia and in the Middle East where it was sprayed against walls. A Malaysian hotel chain had wanted 70 tonnes of green beer "stubbie" glass which matched the company’s corporate colours, but the amount was larger than Mr Alexander could handle. "Ninety per cent [of the order] would have been profit." A large roading contractor was also investigating using crushed green glass covered with resin on Christchurch’s cycleways. Not enough glass was being crushed in New Zealand to meet domestic needs, Mr Alexander said. Swimming pool operators throughout the country were importing it from Britain, as it made pool filtering systems more effective. Mr Alexander used bottles he collected from local pubs and glass dropped off to him by residents. The crushed product was sent as far afield as Auckland.
Sparkling: Cromwell businessman Rory Alexander is crushing bottles from the Bannockburn Hotel, where they will be used to beautify awater feature and as a car park and walkway surface.