A Leeds-based manufacturer of glass units for windows with integrated blinds has saved 1,000 tonnes of post-consumer waste glass from landfill in two years.
The waste been diverted into the production of new glass in a scheme which has provided funding of more than £60,000 for local environmental and community schemes.
Morley Glass employs 110 people at its factory in Morley, and is one of Europe’s biggest manufacturers of double glazed units with built-in Venetian or pleated blinds, producing an average of 16,000 units every month.
In 2020, it invested in reducing its own process waste and providing a post-consumer glass recycling service to customers by installing machinery that could crush waste glass into ‘cullet’. This can be fed directly into the manufacture of new glass which not only reduces needless landfill waste, but also cuts the volumes of virgin raw materials needed to make glass and saves energy as turning cullet into new glass requires less energy.
The scheme, run in conjunction with Saint-Gobain Glass, who make window and door glass at their factory in Eggborough near Selby, is continuously audited. This means Morley Glass can see exactly how much waste glass is being collected and the benefits it delivers.
The data shows that in two years, the amount of glass cullet produced by Morley Glass is equivalent to the weight of 150 elephants, saving around 346,000kg of CO2, as every tonne of glass cullet prevents 300kg going into the atmosphere. Over 980,000kg of sand, the main raw material for glass, has also been saved and the overall energy saving to Saint-Gobain Glass is calculated at 578 ‘energy years’ – the energy used by an average UK household in 12 months.
The recycling scheme has another important benefit. All the money raised by the sale of the recycled glass material to Saint-Gobain Glass goes into a fund set up by Morley Glass called GreenVision.
This offers £500 one-off grants to charities, individuals and community groups located in West Yorkshire and is dedicated to providing environmental or social improvements in their local area.
Initiatives which have benefited to date include a local school, which used their grant to set up a system for collecting school uniforms that children have outgrown so that parents of new pupils can take anything they need free of charge. Another school project created green spaces for children to cultivate.
Ian Short, Managing Director of Morley Glass, said: “What started out as a simple business improvement idea has snowballed into an initiative that is delivering far-reaching benefits at a time when environmental and social sustainability have become priorities. We are thrilled to reach our 1,000-tonne milestone in just two years, which clearly demonstrates how popular the recycling service is with our customers who can save money on waste disposal costs too.
“And of course, the more waste glass we are able to collect and process, the more support we can provide through GreenVision to local people and groups who are giving up their time to improve their local environment or deliver social benefits.”
Morley Glass is also offering a free collection service to any window installer located in the Leeds area who would like them to turn their post-consumer waste glass into funds for the community. This can be arranged by calling 0113 277 8722.
Any eligible charity, group or individual interested in applying for a £500 GreenVision grant can do so at morleyglass.co.uk/greenvision-application-form.