Earth Week is a reminder to us all to be responsible stewards of our resources. Many people in the Valley recycle paper, plastic, aluminum, and glass.
For many, their glass is pulverized into an eco-friendly abrasive, but at Usful Glassworks, they’re turning unwanted bottles into repurposed functional art - and they aren't stopping there.
If you walk into the backroom of Usful Glassworks, you'll find a lot of glass; but in this building a bottle used once is turned into a beautiful glass.
Today, the non-profit held a special day of glass collection.
"A lot of people in the community don't know that we're here and that we're recycling glass,” said spokeswoman Carlyn Blake. “So it gives us a chance to say 'hey, come on down, enjoy our facility, come take a tour, learn about glass recycling and how we do it."
The repurposed bottles are made by people struggling to find jobs. Usful teaches these people manufacturing skills, like maintaining attention to detail during repetitive tasks.
"It's been a big benefit to me,” said Usful employee Maureen Reil. “To be able to work with a wide variety of humans."
The recycler helps people find jobs, once their training is done.
"Vocational training, work ethic training, and glass recycling are
the core parts of our program," said Blake.
Balancing job training and making functional glassware, nothing gets wasted at Usful.
"Nothing that is donated here as glass goes to the landfill, nothing,” said Reil. “I think that's amazing."
Certain bottles are more popular at Usful glassworks. While they will take all your beer, wine, and liquor bottles, they are always looking for Grey Goose bottles, painted beer bombers such as Stone or Rogue brewing, or Pendleton Whiskey bottles of any size.
You can drop off your empty bottles at their building on the corner of Franklin Road and Curtis Road in Boise.