I posted the first mention of Half Full Glass and now they want to expand.

For more than a year, the founders of Louisiana’s first glass recycling and processing center have pushed to crowdfund money, in hopes of scaling up operations at their New Orleans warehouse. Franziska Trautmann and Max Steitz, who started Glass Half Full as students at Tulane University, created a GoFundMe account in September, asking for $100,000 from community members to upgrade their equipment and increase capacity to serve a broader audience. To date, around 1,500 people have donated more than $80,000, and on Friday, Corona became their first corporate donor, adding $10,000 to their coffers and bringing the startup within $8,000 of its ambitious goal. What began as hand-crushing glass bottles in a backyard has steadily grown to include more advanced machinery. But Trautmann and Steitz said expansion is needed to meet the vast demand. “There’s obviously no shortage of glass in the city as we just saw,” Steitz said, standing on the patio of Razzoo on Bourbon Street, surrounded by people sipping from longnecks after a second-line paraded through the French Quarter. “Just one bar in the city produces so much glass, so we’ve been just building up the infrastructure to be able to meet that demand and be the solution.”

Hit by faulty equipment, the glass kept coming in and stacking up.

The pair have watched as glass has piled up in their Louisa Street warehouse over the last two and half months. Their glass-crushing operation halted in mid-September after their only machine failed; the parts needed had to be shipped from New Zealand. Community drop-offs are set to resume this weekend, Trautmann said, and they plan to resume their normal schedule by the end of next week. But the lull has highlighted the importance of upgrading their equipment. They want to add a glass recycling machine that grinds the glass and sifts it into fine sand, but the machine costs tens of thousands of dollars. Since opening last fall, Glass Half Full has diverted more than 1 million pounds of glass from landfills, Glass Half Full collects glass at homes for a $20 monthly fee, and takes drop-offs for free at 3935 Louisa St. on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.using the pulverized glass to fill sandbags ahead of storms and to sell to companies for construction materials or sandblasting. In October, it received a $700,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to work with Tulane scientists to study whether their glass “sand” could play a role in restoration projects along Louisiana’s shrinking shoreline, among other uses.  “The grant is essentially about the end product, like using the sand for our coast, and … without being able to process that glass, there’s no sand to use for the coast,” Trautmann said of the fundraising working alongside the grant. “So it really goes hand in hand. We need to up our operations as well as figure out what to do with the end product.”

A good way to get rid of glass. The problem is sorting and storing the glass at home but that is doable.

Glass Half Fill to expand
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