Business Students Lead the Efforts to Recycle Glass for New Building

November 14th, 2013

Glass is one of a number of items that can’t currently be recycled in Bozeman. There are private recyclers in town who recycle glass and transport it to Livingston, Mont. to be pulverized, but not having glass recycling available at local recycling drop-offs deters people from doing it. Enormous quantities of glass are produced and discarded every year in the United States–more than 11.5 million tons of glass in 2010 according to the GeoMatrix website.

With this in mind, students in the “Principles of Marketing” course (BMKT 325) had a brilliant idea: Why not recycle glass and reuse it in the new Jabs Hall? And so began a student class project. Students worked with the building committee to include locally produced fly ash and recycled glass countertops and backsplashes in the building. The cooperative effort involved local groups: the JJCBE, the Network of Environmentally Conscious Organizations (NECO), the ASMSU Office of Sustainability, Facility Services, Four Corners Recycling and GeoMatrix. The estimated total miles to be logged transporting the glass from the point of collection to the point of installation, from the processing through the manufacturing process, will be less than 25 miles.

Project planning began the fall of 2012 and the students executed used glass collection during Earth Month, April 2013. The glass collection event was very successful with approximately 4,650 pounds, or roughly 9,300 glass items being obtained. The breakdown for types of glass collected was roughly 1,860 pounds of brown/amber glass, 1,860 pounds of green glass, 930 pounds of clear glass and seven individual blue bottles.

With blue being one of MSU’s school colors, the students sought to remedy the blue glass shortage. The Enactus Club (Entrepreneurship Club) is now leading a “Choose Blue” campaign to collect blue glass Thursday, November 14–Wednesday, November 27. Two boxes will be in Reid Hall for collection , one at the North and South building entrances. There will also be multiple collection boxes around the Cat/Griz tailgating area on Saturday, November 23. Students have also partnered with various bars and restaurants to assist with collecting blue glass. The club’s goal is to collect approximately 4,000 blue bottles, which will result in roughly one ton of glass.

Enactus is an international organization that brings together student, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action, enabling progress around the world. Guided by faculty advisors and business experts, participating students form teams on their campuses to create and implement community projects that empower people to improve their quality of life and standard of living. This experience transforms lives and helps students develop the kind of talent and perspective that is essential to become effective, values-driven leaders.

For more information about Enactus, email or contact Gary Bishop, advisor, at 994-7017 or