Magazine article E Magazine

New Glass for Old

Magazine article E Magazine

New Glass for Old

Article excerpt

As Terry McDonald, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Society of Lane County, navigated the congested Oregon Interstate 5 traffic near Portland, he was taken aback by mountains of broken pop bottle green glass unceremoniously dumped by the roadside. Destined to end up as dangerous litter or landfill waste, the glass was what remained of thousands of sodas guzzled by people in the greater Portland area.

A passionate environmentalist, Terry wondered what could be done to keep this abominable trash out of the waste stream. He had a sudden flash of inspiration, and the Aurora Glass Foundry was created.

SVdP is a nonprofit Catholic relief organization that originated in Paris in the 1830s and has spread to more than 46,000 communities in 130 countries. On the international level, SVdP's greatest concern is helping the needy with food, clothing and financial assistance, but under McDonald's leadership the Lane County SVdP has an environmental focus.

Products from the Aurora Glass Foundry are made from 100 percent recycled glass, the bulk of which is window glass donated by BRING Recycling, a local organization that accepts used building materials. After the wood and aluminum frames are recycled, the glass goes to the Aurora Foundry. "Private parties also donate windows," says Patti Lamont, Aurora's marketing manager. "A building contractor recently donated all of the old windows from a 300-unit apartment complex." Crews at Aurora clean the glass, crush it and add metal oxides that provide five of the seven available colors. …

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