Glass Recycling

Glass recycling expert:

A myriad of products for ‘end users’  


By Gary Bégin

Managing Editor

CHELAN -- Cyndy Andela, founder and President of Andela Products in Richfield Springs, New York, spoke virtually to the Lake Chelan Rotary club on Tuesday, Jan. 12 about the myriad of “end user” products for crushed, recycled glass.

Her company is known for expertise in the recycled glass markets and products as used in a variety of applications. It has also been selling machines and know how worldwide for the last 25 years.

Andela discussed the proprietary technology that produces a “friendly” crushed glass with rounded edges that is completely safe to handle. As evidence, she presented the Rotarians with a slide show that included pictures of children playing and bare feet walking in the finished material without injury.

Based on Andela’s business acumen about sand and aggregate, she shared anecdotes about what other municipalities have done to make the glass repurposing programs successful.

Rotarians at the virtual meeting agreed that the glass recycling efforts are an exciting project and discussed various measures to bring it to reality.

Cyndy is a fellow Rotarian and the immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Richfield Springs, New York, located north of Cooperstown.

Her “Andela GP-05L System” is a popular, smaller sized machine system meant for lower volumes than large industrial applications and is perfect for small geographic areas like Lake Chelan where collections can be crushed once a week instead of daily.

Andela said that in its early stages, new bottles made from recycled glass bottles was the main use for recycled glass, but her company has been selling crushed, pulverized glass to companies worldwide for industrial uses such as sandblasting and landscaping, utility pipe bedding and as an additive for sidewalks, cement slabs, patios and site preparation.

Andela has a degree in mechanical engineering and exclaimed the better “flow rate” of her product, being “nine-10 times better” than the flow rate of other aggregates when it comes to its end use.

Her product can also be added to mulch, giving more weed control, retention of soil moisture and even improved ripening of grapes as it reflects sunlight.

She mentioned that the Lake Chelan area, with its many wineries, would benefit from not only the end product being used in its vineyards, but also as a source for the bottles to be recycled in the first place.

The Rotarians are pursuing the purchase of a $111,000 Andela GP-05L System machine with partial funding from the city of Chelan ($50,000) and another $50,000 from the Washington State Department of Ecology.

The club is getting a “fellow Rotarian discount” Andela said, because she is not charging for the installation, shipping, one week of training and accompanying “installation supervisor.”

The Regional Port of Chelan and Douglas Counties Chief Executive Officer Jim Kuntz (brother of Wenatchee Mayor Frank) will help support the project by advocating in favor of the Rotarian’s plan to the state entity.

Lake Chelan Rotarian Julie McCoy is heading the project and said the recycling project fits in with the club’s plans of producing a zero carbon footprint in the near future.

Andela said she already gave the same presentation to the Lake Chelan Wine Alliance and she has already developed an electric-free recycled glass “machine” that can be used by third-world countries to produce clean water, a precious and rare commodity in many poor nations.

That system involves a 50-gallon barrel and gravitational forces that use glass “sand” as a filter to clean fouled water into clean drinking water by merely pouring the bad water into the top and catching the filtered water when it comes out of the bottom.

Lake Chelan Rotary President Tom Tochterman said use of the Andela glass recycler could “put Chelan on the map for environmental leadership.”

Andela’s company currently has 20 employees and also offers custom machines for clients.

The Andela GP-05L System is capable of one to two tons per hour, or about 400 tons annually if used only once a week. It would produce a product suitable for use by the city of Chelan’s Public Works Department for road paving aggregate and mulch uses as well as attracting potential purchases from area NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) and other government entities.

Andela stated that the end product has no odor, other than a dirt-like smell, or unsanitary residue, because part of the recycling process involves extreme heat which kills organic materials. The recycling machine also removes plastic caps and paper labels into a separate waste container.

The finished product has no sharp edges as it is crushed and tumbled by the machine, thus allowing its use on playgrounds and other sensitive ground areas.

The GP-05L installation would also come with technical training manuals and available Zoom meeting instructions from the installation supervisor after installation is finished. Her company also offers maintenance tips and spare parts needed after years of usage.

Chelan Mayor Bob Goedde asked about segregation of colored glass and Andela said if the desired result were to be blue or whatever, that the glass can be segregated and a run of all blue glass would generate a useful mulch product of that color for use on customized landscaping projects.

In regards to its use in the sandblasting industry, Andela stated her product does not contain “crystalline dust” and so is much safer for those who are applying it if accidentally inhaled.

“It’s a way of taking local waste and utilizing it locally,” Andela said.

Speaking by email after the Zoom Rotary meeting, Andela stated that she had really “enjoyed” talking to the Rotarians of Lake Chelan and was “looking forward” to visiting again, but in person, after the COVID-19 issue was solved.

Managing Editor Gary Bégin can be emailed at: Comments received may be used in future Letters to the Editor articles in NCW Media publications unless otherwise requested.)

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