Reimagining Recycling


I have trash glass everywhere. In a brown paper bag, I have pickle jars, curry jars, kosher mustard jars and so much more. Underneath a table, I have an extremely large collection of green Topo Chico bottles. And in my garage, I have a blue bucket full of pieces of broken glass I’ve been collecting for several years.

I always promise myself to find that place I’ve heard about that collects glass, but I can’t remember the name. I’m just not sure where they are and when I can drop off my glass, and I fear it’ll be complicated and take up too much of my time.

But my problem is finally solved because I found a link to Glass Half Full. And I am happy to share what I’ve discovered. Most importantly, it is a painless endeavor.

“At Glass Half Full we collect NOLA’s glass and convert it into beach-like sand and glass cullet that’s used for coastal restoration, new glass products and so much more,” says Franziska Trautmann, co-director of Glass Half Full. “We’re reimagining recycling.”

See a video of Glass Half Full in action.

Since opening last February, the organization has diverted roughly 200 tons of glass from landfills.

They accept almost all glass products, but ask that you rinse any glass that once contained food products and remove any bottle caps and corks.

“Labels are fine,” says Trautmann. “We ultimately sift them out – so no need to remove them.”

Glass Half Full hosts free glass recycling drop-off hubs across NOLA where the organization collects used glass bottles. It then sorts the glass products by color and removes any plastic and metal parts. Next, it processes the glass by pulverizing and crushing it through hammer-mill crushers. Once the glass is crushed, it is sorted, separated and bagged.

“From flooring and glass products, to disaster relief sandbags to mitigate hurricane and flood damage, to clean, beach-like sands to rebuild our coasts, we work to creatively integrate our recycled materials into everyday life,” says Trautmann.

She believes this work is important because glass is endlessly recyclable and most definitely does not belong in a landfill.  Furthermore, our city and state need these resources and green jobs in order to better ourselves.

“The most important thing for people to know is that we only started this organization in February and we are learning so much along the way,” she says. “I hope people are patient with us as we figure out how best to make this a long-term success.”

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To divert as much glass from landfills as possible and make recycling more accessible and transparent for New Orleanians.



Free glass recycling drop-off days for NOLA residents:

When: Every Mondays and Saturdays at the Gentilly location

Address: 3935 Louisa Street from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

For: Residents, businesses, organizations — no weight limit

When: Every Wednesdays at the Uptown location, from

Address: 911 Joliet Street 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

For: Residents only



They have a gofundme happening now to raise money to automate its hand-driven recycling process.


How Readers Can Help:

Readers can donate, volunteer, spread the word, and most importantly follow its recycling guidelines. And, only come on days and times they are open to accept glass.


How Businesses Can Help

Businesses can encourage their customers to be more mindful of their waste and how they recycle. Glass Half Full is continuing to increase the amount of glass they can accept from businesses.

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Categories: Labors of Love