Glass Bottle Recycling

Call it a creative outlet for all my spare time or just temporary insanity.  The idea was birthed a few years ago while doing a holiday retail stint and fell in love with recycled beer bottles cut off and used as water glasses.  I conducted a little research and at the time deduced that doing it myself was more than I wanted to bite off.  Fast forward and a dear friend had sent me an article on the subject to reignite my obsession with making my own water glasses for B&H.   It didn't hurt that my present employer was turning up an endless supply of wine bottles for experimentation.

So at the end of January my dad and I set out to give it a whirl.  Sad to say, our first go at it did not produce a solid return on investment and left us feeling rather deflated.  I had purchased the Green G2 Bottle Cutter (roughly $25) as featured in the article and our success rate was at best 1 out of 10.  That model was returned and with the recommendation from a friend the Kinkajou was purchased and we are now feeling a much greater sense of accomplishment at almost a 50% success rate.

The process is quite simple and affordable, it’s just rather time consuming as you can imagine.  About ten hours in and less than $100 invested I have a dozen glasses so far.  Clearly I have my work cut out for me and pops if we’re going to have enough to supply B&H.  My supplies are limited to rubber gloves, an SOS pad, steel mesh scrubber, my grandma’s old paring knife, and the Kinkajou cutter.

First, I take home any used bottles I can find from beer to water, or wine.  I soak them for a night in water to assist with the label removal, and then I scrub off the glue residue to get a clean surface.  Once the bottles are dry they’re ready to be scored.  Once the etching in the bottle has been made you simply alternate running hot and cold water along the score mark until it breaks off at the seam.  Protective eye wear is suggested.  Sanding the edges is the last step to ensure a smooth, clean surface.  

I probably won’t make another entry on the subject so you’ll just have to see when the doors open if this obsession continues.