ALFRED — The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and the state’s environmental agency will research new ways to use more recycled glass in manufacturing.
The university’s Center for Glass Innovation will team with the state Department of Environmental Conservation in the project, using $1.7 million in funding from the state’s Environmental Protection Fund. The research will seek ways ways New York State-based glass manufacturers can increase their utilization of recycled glass feedstock.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday it is anticipated that the work will result in a significant reduction in the amount of glass going to landfills, specifically by improving the quality of glass cullet for reuse and recovery.
This initiative, first announced by Cuomo in his 2020 State of the State address, will play an instrumental role in helping recycling markets and municipal recycling programs find new and more profitable ways to recycle glass.
”As New York seeks ways to support the state’s materials recovery centers, increased reuse of glass represents a tremendous opportunity, especially given the large volume of glass that currently ends up in landfills each year,” Gabrielle Gaustad, dean of the Inamori School of Engineering and vice president for statutory affairs at the NYS College of Ceramics.
The NYSCC at Alfred is one of the preeminent glass science education and research institutions in the country, and is the only one offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in glass science engineering.
Private sector industrial involvement from across New York will include a number of glass manufacturers and firms supporting the glass manufacturing supply chain, including: Corning Inc., Guardian Glass, Anchor Glass, Tesla/SolarCity, Monofrax, St. Gobain, Owens-Illinois, Corelle Brands, Hillcrest Industries and Andella Glass, as well as the Glass Manufacturing Industry Council.
The Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology at Alfred University — one of 15 Centers for Advanced Technology (CAT) in New York — will facilitate and support research partnerships between the Center for Glass Innovation and the private sector.
Mark Zupan, Alfred’s president, said “For over 120 years, the College of Ceramics has been a leader in glass research for 120 years.
”Over the past 30 years, our Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology has been supporting the growth of the state’s technical ceramics and glass industry by providing access to Alfred’s unique technical infrastructure and knowledgebase,” Zupan said. “The CACT will be an important resource in engaging New York’s glass companies in this DEC-funded effort.”
Alfred University is collaborating with Hillcrest Industries of Attica, a leading manufacturer of glass microbeads used for reflective road marking, to develop a process that will increase Hillcrest’s recycling efficiency.
The project — funded by a FuzeHub grant awarded to Alfred glass science professors Alexis Clare and William Lacourse — will permit Hillcrest to recycle its glass powder waste by reprocessing it into a dense solid glass.
The recycled glass will be used in reflective glass beads used by Hillcrest, as well as new glass microbead products that may spur development of other business ventures making use of the technology.