SEATTLE (Waste Advantage): Governor Kathy Hochul announced State investments to bolster the nation-leading collaboration with the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University to expand recycling markets and help municipal recycling programs find new ways to recycle and reuse glass. An additional $2.5 million has been added to the $1.7 million already available for the Center’s ongoing work on glass production, recycling, and reuse options.
“New York continues to lead the nation on climate action and expanding our recycling markets is a key part of our efforts to build a greener state for all,” Governor Hochul said. “This partnership with the New York State College of Ceramics will advance our efforts to reduce solid waste and keeps our state on the path toward achieving our ambitious climate goals.”
Recycling markets continue to experience volatility in the U.S. and worldwide resulting in recycling operations struggling to find suitable markets for material, impacting solid waste recycling efforts. Glass is one of the heaviest components of the municipal waste stream and is costly to process. New York State continues to work with key stakeholders, including municipalities, to strategize about ways to address these challenges.
Projects being undertaken by the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University (NYSCC)’s Center for Glass Innovation include using materials manufactured from recycled or upcycled municipal waste glass and other industrial streams in the creation of seawalls on Long Island to help prevent future flooding intensified by sea-level rise. There is also work on breaking glass down into a powder-like material used in cement/concrete to strengthen the concrete and prevent buckling or swelling, building resiliency during extreme weather events.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “New York State is investing in finding opportunities to recycle and reuse glass and more sustainably approach waste reduction. This exciting partnership with NYSCC continues New York’s work at the forefront of developing innovative practices to reduce waste, invest in recycling infrastructure, encourage products that are easier to recycle, and support local economies.”
NYSCC has a world-renowned reputation in the field of glass science and engineering and is the only institution in the country to offer a doctoral degree in glass science. Since the NYSCC’s glass science and engineering degree was established in 1932, thousands of graduates have found successful positions at the forefront of materials discovery, glass processing, and manufacturing.
President of Alfred University Mark Zupan said, “Alfred University is the only higher education institution in the country to offer glass engineering and science programs at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels. Our alums and faculty have created such innovations as Gorilla Glass; the highly-durable Valor Glass vials used to distribute COVID vaccines; the ability to transmit voice and data by fiberoptic cable; and the means to 3D print buildings using recycled glass. Through the leadership of the dean of our Inamori School of Engineering, Dr. Gabrielle Gaustad, we are proud and grateful to partner with the State of New York to enhance the ability to recycle glass—an important objective toward promoting sustainability globally and delivering innovations to serve people everywhere.”
Dean of the Inamori School of Engineering at Alfred University and Vice President of Statutory Affairs Dr. Gabrielle Gaustad said, “As a sustainability and recycling researcher, this work is extra special to me personally. I am so thrilled about the progress we have made on glass recycling and reuse to date, particularly some of the innovative uses for low quality cullet that our glass science undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and staff have developed. Extending this work should provide many opportunities for scale-up and technology transfer within New York State and beyond.”
Today’s announcement builds on New York State’s close partnership with the State University of New York (SUNY) to develop strategies that advance more sustainable materials management practices. DEC has committed more than $20 million in funding for work already underway with the University at Buffalo, NYSCC at Alfred University, Stony Brook University, and the College of Environmental Science and Forestry to innovate the reduction of waste and make New York more resilient to future market disruptions.
SUNY Chancellor John B. King Jr. said, “As we continue to see the growing effects of climate change, it is important for us to find sustainable ways to recycle. The New York State College of Ceramics is doing just that by more efficiently using recycled glass. I thank Governor Kathy Hochuland NYSDEC Commissioner Basil Seggos for their investment in the Center of Glass Innovation and ongoing support for research innovation across our SUNY campuses to find sustainable solutions for New York State’s environmental challenges today and for the future.”
Assemblymember Joseph Giglio said, “I am pleased that the Governor is funding this innovative research program’s expansion at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. It is important that they continue to utilize all resources available to develop new technologies and processes. This $2.5 million expansion will provide additional opportunities for success for Alfred researchers in the recycling and reuse of glass in innovative, strategic ways, which will improve the lives of people throughout New York State and beyond.”
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