Former N.J. Quarry to Become Largest Glass Recycling Facility in the World

A former Braen Stone quarry in Andover, N.J., is about to become the site of the largest glass recycling facility in the world.

The 250,000-sq.-ft. processing plant, which Pace Glass is building on the site of an 85-acre former rock quarry on Limecrest Road, will be capable of handling 15,000 tpd of recyclable glass from sorting facilities throughout the Northeast and more than 90 tph – more than triple the production capacity of the company’s existing plant in Jersey City, which will remain open along with its new Andover Township plant, according to The New Jersey Herald.

“Especially in densely populated cities throughout the Northeast, the process of how glass is recycled has literally become broken,” Pace Glass CEO George Valiotis said. “Through our innovative technology that is able to capture and repurpose 90 percent of what is currently landfilled, Pace Glass has found a way to help remedy that.”

“The whole idea of glass recycling, if you look at Europe it’s at 90 percent in Germany. If you go across Europe it’s probably at 70 percent as a whole. In the United States, for some unknown reason, it’s less than 30 percent recycling. So the growth potential in the United States to produce this type of material is huge,” said Pace Glass COO Michael Mahoney, reported NJTV.

The new, state-of-the-art plant is expected to become fully operational once construction is completed in about 14 months. Included in the new plant will be optical scanner technology capable of taking 1,000 pictures per second to sort and separate glass by color before breaking and melting it down.

In addition to selling the recycled glass, the company will also be able to collect and sell some of the residual dust from its recycling processes for other operations such as abrasives manufacturing.

In presenting their plan to the township last year, company officials noted that a ton of recycled glass saves about a ton of natural resources including 1,300 lb. of sand, 410 lb. of soda ash, 380 lb. of limestone and 160 lb. of feldspar.