Lee River’s Stan Macario uses recycled glass to create beautiful yard ornaments.

For many, broken glass is something to be avoided. For Stan Macario, a cottager in Lee River, it’s an opportunity to create something beautiful. Macario, who has a cottage in Lee River Estates, uses crushed glass from Lac du Bonnet’s Environmental Options recycling depot to create finishes on concrete benches, flower pot stands, and more.

“You can mix it right into the concrete, it works great,” he says. “And it’s virtually free, which is terrific.”

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Stan Macario

According to the Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Program website, it takes a lot of minerals, energy and water to make glass from raw materials. Fortunately, glass can be recycled endlessly without any loss in purity or quality. We can save one tonne of natural resources by recycling one tonne of glass. Recycled glass is primarily used to make new containers, highway marking beads and the glass sand used to purify water.

In Manitoba, most glass bottles are crushed and used as aggregate for roadbase or water and sewer installations. Recycled glass bottles can also be turned into countertops, flooring, tile, landscaping stones and bricks. Recycling just one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours, power a computer for 30 minutes, or a television for 20 minutes, according to Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba.

“It makes a great material for a number of uses,” says Karen Nilsson, co-owner of Environmental Options.

The crushed glass is given away for free if you fill your own pails, or for $2 per 850 kilograms if staff loads it for you with the depot’s forklift. It’s a hugely versatile and useful material, as Macario has discovered.

“I have also used the crushed glass for aggregate in cement for pathways and counter tops and raw glass in flowerbeds,” he adds. Recycling can be dropped off at the depot at all hours or at the RM of Lac du Bonnet’s transfer station along Hwy. 313.

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