SMI accepts glass from a variety of recycling streams, including curbside, single-stream collection and commercial collections, turning it into a valuable material that is used by manufacturers to make products like new glass containers and fiberglass insulation. Each day, large trucks bring tons of glass to the loading docks. From there, the glass is crushed, screened and color-sorted into furnace-ready, recycled glass called cullet. The crushing process can naturally create glass dust, including coarse particulate and respirable “fines” that remain suspended in the air. Organics from food and beverage containers, along with other non-glass materials received in the glass pile, contribute to odor challenges, both inside the facility and on the property.
SMI’s previously installed cyclone and baghouse source capture systems collected a certain level of heavy dust but did not fully prevent fines from propagating through the facility. While SMI remained OSHA compliant, it was a priority for the company to improve indoor air quality to enhance employee comfort, ensure good community relations, and continue leadership in environmental stewardship.