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Glass is one of the most frequently recycled materials. Its simple, pure origins (sand and limestone) make it an ideal substance to be broken down and efficiently remade. It can be recycled multiple times, making the long-term use of the original product quite remarkable. This characteristic makes glass a highly eco-friendly substance, as it can be utilized as many times and ways as people can find a way to use it. Recycled glass can be used for everything from manufacturing new soft drink bottles to using recycled glass in ponds and landscaping.
While glass is a solid manufacturing investment, it also is a detrimental substance in landfills. It does not break down. Once it enters the waste stream, it will remain there for generations. Considering how beneficial glass is for construction, consumer products, and even artistic projects, it really does not make sense to not recycle glass. Finding creative, innovative ways to use this material is a great way to way to benefit the environment while taking advantage of a durable, yet beautiful product.
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Glass mulch is a term sometimes used to describe recycled tumbled glass used in landscaping projects. It can be used to line gardens, encircle trees, or even to form colored, sparkling walkways (only use in pathways with stepping stones or pavers) through gardens and lawns.
What are the benefits of using recycled glass for landscaping decoration? Glass mulch is low maintenance; it really doesn't require any effort for upkeep once installed. It also is beneficial for problems with weeds or poor drainage. Glass acts as a deterrent to slugs. To install, lay down landscape fabric for the desired area, followed by a layer of pea gravel. Then cover with tumbled glass. Use whatever colors you want — calming greens, bright blues, clear crystal, or even a blend of brighter colors.
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Another ingenious use of recycled tumbled glass is in small ponds and fountains. Glass stones will add color and light perspective to soothing backyard aquatics. Simply add stones to the bottom of a small pond, where the ground has already been covered with a plastic liner. In this case as well, there isn't any maintenance involved once installed.
Where can you find recycled glass to use in ponds and landscaping? Many online retailers offer tumbled pieces by the pound. Recycled glass comes in a variety of colors, or blends of colors. Tumbled glass is smooth and perfectly safe for use around pets and children. Before spending money, check your local recycling centers, which will probably have plenty of material to give away for free.
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"Tumbled Landscape Glass." (GRrecycledglass) <grrecycledglass.com/id8.html>.
"Facts About Glass Recycling." (Earth911) <earth911.com/recycling/glass/facts-about-glass-recycling>.
"Install a Garden Pond." (HGTV) <hgtv.com/home-improvement/install-a-garden-pond/index.html>.
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photo by: Core Force (CC/flickr) <flickr.com/photos/coreforce/2494502183/>.
photo by: Orphan Jones (CC/flickr) <flickr.com/photos/orphanjones/440167793/>.
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