Maverick Metal Trading, Inc. - Your Hometown Steel Source

2402 S. Kaufman, Ennis, Tx 75119 Phone 972-875-9597 Fax 972-875-9835

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It’s more community service than cash cow to Maverick

By J. Louise Larson

With glass forever piling up in area landfills, one local company is going the extra mile to help the community go green.

In Ennis, Maverick Metal Trading Inc. has undertaken a glass recycling project that supplements community recycling and meets growing local demand, according to Brad and Debbie Lane.

“It’s part of the whole big picture: greening up, corporate responsibility,” said Mr. Lane. “We started recycling as a courtesy to our customers, and people that were recycling kept asking us for glass recycling.”

Mason jars, beer bottles, Bottles with labels: As long as it’s clear, green, brown or plate glass, chances are it can be recycled. (But not auto glass, which has a film on it)

There’s no pickup service, so customers need to bring their glass by the facility at 2402 S. Kaufman St

Since the beginning of the year, Maverick Metal has hauled more than 6 tons of glass to Strategic Materials Inc. of Midlothian, which recycles it.

There’s not a lot of money in it – a hundred pounds of glass nets just 50 cents.

“It’s OK since we’re doing other things, but there’s no way you could make a living off of it.” Mr. Lane said, “It’s a community service.”

The challenge is getting the word out in the community, and getting people in the habit of separating plastic, cardboard, paper and glass.

“Everyone jumps on the bandwagon at first: then they taper off unless they have a constant pressure to do it,” Mr. Lane said.

At Strategic Materials, it’s waste not, want not as great piles of gleaming glass eventually find their way to commercial customers for reuse.

The company takes in consumer glass, sizing and color- sorting it, removing contamination and grinding it so it can be reintroduced into customers’ furnaces to create new consumer products.

Strategic Materials services customers around the state, including container manufacturers and the Fiberglass and reflective bead industries. Area customers using recycled glass include Waxahachie’s Owens Corning and bottle manufacturer St. Gobain, Gaurdian Glass in Corsicana and Ennis Paint.

Robert Herbert, plant manager at Strategic Materials, estimates that 5 percent to 7 percent of the state’s glass gets recycled. He said that figure would increase if the Legislature made it mandatory or provide incentives to recycle.

“The other 93-95 percent goes to our landfills. Glass does not decompose; once it’s put into the land, it’s there forever,” he said. “We are a throwaway society, and that’s going to hurt us in the long run. The landfills are filling up too fast.”

Whatever glass is recycled reduces contamination of the environment and also cuts energy consumption because glass melts at a lower temperature than natural resources. There are no emissions because there’s no smelting process, Mr. Herbert said.

There’s not very much money in recycling glass and that can be a deterrent, he said.

“Sometimes glass recycling’s a very hard sell. It’s a constant commodity, so it doesn’t fluctuate like other recyclables,” he said. “It’s not like you’re going to make billions of dollars doing it if you’re a small community.”

Prior to signing a contract with Strategic Materials, Mr. Lane went to City Hall to find out if the city had glass recycling plans.

The city of Ennis began recycling in 2006 and currently accepts newspapers, magazines, phone books, corrugated boxes and plastic containers. Local businesses have long accepted recyclables like btteries, motor oil, and tires.

City Manager Steve Howerton said the company the city contracts with for recycling can’t accept glass unless it’s presorted by color. He applauded the Lanes for their effort, calling it an absolutely outstanding opportunity to recycle glass here in Ennis.”

J. Louise Larson is a freelance writer based in Ennis