Construction Begins on World’s Largest Glass Recycling Facility

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Pace Glass Inc., Long Island City, New York, broke ground May 1 on its new glass recycling facility in Andover Township, New Jersey. Situated on 85 acres in a former rock quarry, the official groundbreaking for the 250,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility marks the first stage of construction of what will be the world’s largest glass recycling facility when completed, the company says. The new plant will be substantially larger than Pace’s Glass’s other plant in Jersey City, which will remain open along with its corporate headquarters in Long Island City. Notable features of the Andover Township facility include designated spaces for a rail line and research and development capabilities. Pace Glass also will be creating approximately 80 local jobs in two daily shifts—nearly double the number now employed at the Pace Glass Jersey City location. In addition, as many as 60 truck drivers will be hired to deliver the recycled glass (cullet) to manufacturers in New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. With eventual plans to increase its intermodal delivery reach to other areas of the United States via flatbed railcars and barges, the Andover Township plant will also enable Pace Glass to more than triple its production capacity to over 15,000 tons of commercial-grade recyclable glass per week, which equates to roughly 90 tons an hour. In doing so, it will effectively become the nation’s largest facility by output. Right now, the company processes 25 tons per hour. Originally founded in 2014, Pace’s recycling process uses optical scanner technology that takes 1,000 pictures per second to sort glass by color before separating and depositing it via jets of air into three designated containers on a conveyor belt. The glass products are then converted to cullet, which can either be transported to neighboring manufacturing facilities or placed into onsite melting furnaces. The residual dust can be sold as filler for a variety of products. Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony were New Jersey’s 5th District Representative, Congressman Josh Gottheimer, the Mayor of Andover Janice McGovern, Pace Glass CEO George Valiotis and Pace Glass COO and co-founder Michael Mahoney. After the ground was officially broken with ceremonial shovels, Gottheimer presented Valiotis with a Congressional Certificate of Recognition for Pace Glass’s outstanding service to the community. “Especially in densely populated cities throughout Northeast, the process of how glass is recycled has literally become broken. Through our innovative technology that is able to capture and repurpose 90 percent of what is currently landfilled, Pace Glass has found a way to help remedy that,” Valiotis says. “The town of Andover has been instrumental in giving us our approvals and we feel very fortunate that they have been so supportive.” Mahoney went on to thank Andover leadership for their role in supporting the new business venture, “They have been more than welcoming to bringing in new business and making the process move quickly. With the addition of the new Andover Township plant, we will be able to strengthen our position as a leading glass recycling technology provider on a much larger scale.” Construction is slated to be completed over the next 12 months and operations are expected to begin in early 2019.