Glass is infinitely recyclable, so it’s easy to imagine that all those bottles and jars you put out at the curb every week are headed off to be melted down and remade — baby-food jars into baby-food jars, beer bottles into beer bottles, forever and ever, amen. But as Melanie Asmar reported in June 2015, the glass that residents put in their purple bins along with other alleged recyclables was reused only once — as a liner for landfills — in cities like Denver, which adopted single-stream recycling back in 2005.

But now that’s changing. The city has been replacing dumpsters and those big purple bins — much to the dismay of some residents — and Momentum Recycling  is about to open a long-planned facility that will be able to recycle bits of glass into something useful.

After a $150,000 retrofit at its Altogether Recycling facility in Denver, Alpine Waste & Recycling sent its first loads of glass remnants to the Broomfield plant built by Utah-based Momentum, where the glass will be recycled for use in bottle manufacturing and other industries.

Alpine is among the first companies to recycle broken glass on a large scale and provide material for the Momentum facility, which is set to open next month. Momentum will use its optical sorting process to separate clear glass from colored glass. Along with bottle manufacturing, the glass will be used to make fiberglass insulation and other glass-related products.

Brent Hildebrand, vice president of recycling at Alpine, said the company added two conveyers and a blower to separate paper and other debris from the glass, along with a new bunker to store the glass. “The efficiencies gleaned from separating broken glass will offset some of the expense of our recycling efforts,” he noted.

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