My recycling center is overflowing with wine bottles. I'm sure it has something to do with the serious onset of cabin fever after the holidays. The Super Bowl last week probably didn't help either.
A glass bottle that is sent to a landfill can take up to a million years to break down, but with recycling programs many bottles meet their demise quickly at a recycling center. It takes as little as 30 days for a recycled glass bottle to reappear on a store shelf as a new glass container.
In a nutshell, here's how that happens. At the recycling center, the glass gets broken up into smaller pieces-cullet. The broken pieces are crushed and sorted and used to make more glass. The cost savings of recycling is mainly in the use of energy. When glass is made from scratch, high temperatures are required to melt and combine all the ingredients. Since cullet melts at a lower temperature, the more of it you add to a batch of raw materials, the less energy you will need to melt it.
The New York Times' Green Inc. blog estimates,
"The average recycled content in glass containers in the United States is about 25 percent (but 60 percent for Europe, which is better at recycling)."
You've had a lot of fun emptying those wine bottles and now they are just ripe for an upcycled illuminating reuse. No doubt you've seen candlesticks made from wine bottles with overflowing candle drippings. That's one simple retro way to repurpose those wine bottles. Here's another:
DIY Wine Bottle Lamp
One of my favorite websites, Remodelista offers a DIY project inspired by Maison Martin Margiela's home line based on recycling and reinterpretation. To make these salvaged bottle lamps you'll need a wine bottle. Remodelista suggests a vintage one would look cool. You'll also need a lampshade and a cork stopper lamp kit.
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