Raising a glass to recycling in Scotland

Oct 21, 2021

  • The Bottle Genies has recycled 500 tonnes of glass saving over 83 tonnes of carbon emissions.
  • Every 6 tonnes of glass recycled = 1 tonne of carbon dioxide saved from the environment.
  • The Bottle Genies glass cullet is used by glass manufacturer O-I at their Alloa facility here in the Forth Valley.

The Bottle Genies was born after the local council where the company founders lived announced that they would no longer be offering a glass kerbside collection service to residents. Passionate about the environment and keen to prevent glass from going to landfill, Scott and Anne Andrew decided to take matters into their own hands and establish their own kerbside glass recycling service. Now, for a small monthly fee, The Bottle Genies collect glass for recycling from outside homes across central Scotland.

The company strives to have as low a carbon footprint as possible. When looking into the recycling industry, Scott was shocked to discover that much of the glass collected for recycling in the UK was being sent abroad to be processed. With a glassworks factory in Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scott knew there was a local market for the recycled material and was determined that glass collected in Scotland should be reused in Scotland.

The Bottle Genies has established a process that keeps the end-to-end recycling process as local as possible. After collection, glass is stored at a yard in Alloa before being transported in bulk to a specialist waste management firm with a facility in Motherwell. It is then cleaned and sorted into green, brown, and clear glass cullet and transported back to Alloa for use by glass manufacturers O-I, who use it to create new glass bottles.

Recycled glass can replace raw materials by up to 60% in the production of new glass products. Every six tonnes of glass recycled in this way saves one tonne of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. With glass collected by Bottle Genies being recycled in Scotland, carbon emissions from transport are also drastically reduced. This means your old glass bottle or jar could even be back on the shelf as a brand-new glass product in as little as 30 days!

The company and service has grown rapidly, and it now collects glass for recycling from Clackmannanshire, Stirling, West Lothian, and Fife. The Bottle Genies plans to expand further and is looking to start services in Glasgow, Edinburgh and beyond soon.

To find out more about The Bottle Genie service and whether it is available in your area, visit their website.

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