100% Upcycled bottles

Georgetown, Ohio
| 13,320 Sales | 5 out of 5 stars 5 out of 5 stars

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About GlassReFactory

Sales 13,320
On Etsy since 2015

Sparkling suncatchers made from 100% recycled bottles at our community recycling plant

In 1996, Dan Wickerham, Director of Adams Brown Recycling (a non-profit community recycling facility), was inspired to do something about the poor markets for green-bottle glass. Dan began searching for a way to address this issue and to create local jobs at the same time. After being told by those in the glass industry that machine-made bottles could only be remade into more machined-made bottles, he teamed up with Warren Trefz, his good friend and Glass instructor at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, to provide consulting and expertise. A research and development grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources was secured and the exploration of creating a new product from 100% recycled bottles began.

A small melting furnace and related equipment was designed and constructed, and a glass-worker position was created. Glass tiles for kitchen and bath surfaces were the first product to be explored. At that time, however, no industrial standards or codes for recycled glass tiles had been developed. The research and testing required to establish those codes were cost-prohibitive for ABR, so Dan had to rethink his approach. Because bottle glass is specifically formulated to cool rapidly from its molten state, it lends itself to the pressing process. So Dan contacted Warren again, this time to conduct a workshop to train staff and a group of local artists to carve press molds and gather molten glass. Some great suncatcher designs came out of this workshop and on Earth Day in 1998 the Glass reFactory was born.

The Glass reFactory continues as a non-profit program within Adams Brown Recycling, which is one of many programs operated by the Adams Brown Community Action Program (ABCAP). ABCAP is a 501(c)(3) social service agency that provides services to low-income residents in Adams and Brown Counties in southern Appalachian Ohio. Some of those services include Meals-on-Wheels, Head Start, health clinics, housing, senior services, and more. ABR gives back to the local community by providing a variety of services: buy-back of non-ferrous metals (aluminum cans, copper, brass, etc.), free curbside, free community drop-off sites and school recycling, free educational programs, and commercial recycling. And more than 20 individuals are employed in the combined recycling plant and Glass reFactory. Revenue from sales of The Glass reFactory’s suncatchers goes back in to ABR to help support its services. And revenue from ABR goes to support ABCAP programs.

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Last updated on Nov 28, 2022


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