When you recycle a glass bottle at Walt Disney World Resort, you might actually be contributing to the infrastructure of Disney World!
The Animal Kingdom icon Dr. Mark Penning has just revealed on the Disney Parks Blog that Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground has been the testing ground for a unique program that is the first of its kind. The glass bottles and glass jars recycled at the Disney Resort are taken from recycling bins into something called “a glass pulverizer,” where the glass is broken down and filtered into two options: chunky gravel or sand.
According to the blog post, “within 30 seconds, a sauce jar or beverage bottle can turn into a beautiful, soft-sand mix!” In addition, “this pulverizer can process up to 2,000 pounds of glass per hour. So, a full ton can go through this machine every hour and be converted into sand and gravel instead of being routed to a landfill.”
The sand or gravel that is created is then being used to line the roads and horseback riding trails that make their way through the Fort Wilderness Resort at the moment, but Disney has big plans that involve using the reused glass “sand” for “roadbeds, golf course bunkers, filtration systems, sandbags and drainage improvements”.
Disney is even hoping to eventually involve the reused glass material in “coastal restoration work”, since erosion is a huge problem for coastlines and coastal habitats! The glass pulverizer actually softens the sharp edges of the glass, which is why it’s safe for animals like horses to walk on the material. The pseudo-sand has also been found to create less dust when it is traversed.
As Dr. Mark put it in the blog post, “this work is just one example of the ways The Walt Disney Company is aiming to lead the way in protecting the planet with our environmental goals by 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve water, achieve zero waste to landfills, further reduce single-use plastics and emissions, and expand renewable energy efforts.”
If you want to get a visual picture of the glass recycling process at Fort Wilderness, take a look at the TikTok video shown above!
“Picturing what’s possible is what we do every day at Disney, and the real magic begins when we put that possibility into practice,” Dr. Mark Penning concluded in his blog post, adding that “every simple action can help create a world in balance and make a happier, healthier planet possible for all.”
Would you like to see this eco-friendly practice becoming more widespread and accessible?