• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Devaka Cooray
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Dave Burton
  • Dan Boone
gardeners:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
  • Mike Barkley

Burying glass?

 
master pollinator
Posts: 11031
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
597
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I understand from what Dale has said, that glass is not actually recycled but is instead ground up and used as filler in other materials, generating tiny abrasive particles. In any case our locale doesn't have glass recycling - the nearest place which will accept glass is about 30 miles away. I've saved up at least a ton of bottles because at one time I planned to make a bottle building: http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/how-make-building-using-bottles.html


I'm pretty sure I'm never going to do that project, but I still need to get rid of these bottles and it would cost hundreds of $$ to have them hauled away. Because glass is inert, would there be anything wrong with burying them under a swale berm?

Not sure what else to do with them, and some of them need to be moved from their present location.
 
Posts: 567
Location: Mid-Michigan
36
duck forest garden trees hunting books food preservation bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
They are pretty well completely inert. To my knowledge, there's absolutely nothing poisonous about glass.

However, I'd be reluctant to bury a big quantity of glass, because things that you bury don't stay buried forever. When someone digs that spot up to build a root cellar, or erosion or other changes in the land gradually bring that to the surface, your descendants will curse you.

As I make decisions about what to do with my little piece of land, the Jonas Salk criterion is ofter at the top of my decisionmaking chart. Are we being good ancestors? Burying glass bottles wouldn't pass that test in my yard.
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 11031
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
597
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
But might the descendants find the glass useful? Glass used to be truly recycled.

 
pollinator
Posts: 1497
Location: northern California
108
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've mulled this same problem, on a couple of different sites. If you look at some of the very early Permaculture literature, I believe Mollison once said that if you bring something onto your site, then be responsible for disposing of it there. Otherwise don't bring it! I recall descriptions of early sheetmulch gardens that included what I would call garbage....plastic, fabrics, and such like!!
In addition, on a rural, remote site, the ecological/carbon footprint of the energy used in backhauling the stuff to a recycling center, in addition to the energy needed to process/melt it back down for reuse.
Personally I have used glass, metal, and hard plastics as fill, usually under something like a paved terrace which is a. not being used to grow anything b. relatively permanent, and c. will save me a lot of work moving the additional fill soil. I have buried bottles, etc. above buried power and water lines, so that anyone digging later (including forgetful me!) will run into them first and catch a clue that something is down there under them. And, of course, I have sunk them all into concrete work, which if a large enough project can absorb a lot of stuff!
In the similar vein of "reuse and sequestration" I've used soft plastics, styrofoam, bubble wrap, as well as fabrics and paper, as insulation in sheds and after remodeling projects in the house itself.
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 11031
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
597
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you for your thoughts, Alder.

 
gardener
Posts: 2339
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
152
forest garden trees urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have buggered my self using broken glass in places that I come back to and change. Because of thi it simply isn't the equivalent of gravel, no matter how well it drains!Never again
I think bottles could be ideal in a sub irrigated planter, if the bottoms were cut off. At that point hey take the place of the typical 4" perforated plastic tubing.
A 55 gallon drum diy ball mill could turn glass containers into smooth pebbles, perhaps worth something, certainly harmless.

As for the good ancestor issue, if you found a stash of 10 year old bottles, you might be pissed. If you found a stash of 100 year old bottles, you migh be a bit wealthier, or even a lot wealthier.
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 11031
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
597
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
These would be going under a food forest, so, theoretically, not to be disturbed for 50 - 100 years....
 
pollinator
Posts: 8298
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
641
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have used glass in a concrete mix, but never used the fine powdery stuff.

 When I was a kid. My father had a pond dug in a former farm dump.  Several of the children got badly cut feet. We had to swim with our shoes on. The addition of ducks and geese turned it into a cesspool. 

A ton of material will not be very expensive to deal with.  You may find that larger towns have somewhere for the stuff. I'd rather see it piled on the surface, with a covering of weeds than covered with soil.
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1497
Location: northern California
108
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A drawback with glass containers, or any containers for that matter, stored or piled outdoors, is their collecting rainwater and breeding mosquitoes. In most urban and suburban situations and in a lot of rural ones, human trash like this is the main culprit in mosquito problems; since this water is ephemeral.....that is, it lasts long enough to breed a crop, or several, of mosquitoes, but not long enough to breed their predators, like a permanent natural pond does.
 
Dale Hodgins
pollinator
Posts: 8298
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
641
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, just like old tires. They can also concentrate light and start a grass fire.
.......
A cement mixer containing a few rocks, can quickly reduce glass to a granular aggregate for making concrete. Make a small batch, for display purposes, then advertise it for free. Or,make fused blocks in a slumping kiln. Lots of complications there.
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1497
Location: northern California
108
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I had forgotten about the fire danger! I didn't believe it could happen until one day I saw it happen. A friend had water in a wine bottle in his lap, sitting cross-legged on the ground, and set his pants on fire! There were several witnesses. We were all astonished, and so we set the bottle in some dry leaves and presto, smoke going up from the bright spot in a matter of seconds! This was a unique, very round bottle with a narrow neck ("Mateus" I think is the name of it), and the shape plus the water I think is what did it.
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 11031
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
597
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you for all these thoughts. I will ponder this problem some more...
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 11031
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
597
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have decided to pile the glass on the surface and lightly cover with branches, and at some point perhaps have it hauled away.

Thank you everyone for your input!

 
pollinator
Posts: 759
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
39
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
OK... one last one... I was at a presentation this morning by Tyler Burns who had helped make the Shambala Farm on Camano Island, in Washington. He showed a slide of a bed edging that was wine bottles, wrapped in towels, then pounded into the round, head first, with sledge hammers (more nuance needed, I think). He said they worked very well.. the dimple in the bottom (now top) reflected light ... and they didn't seem to have any problem with the small amount of water breeding mosquitoes. I think I'll email Shambala and get details :) (I have a few dozen to dispose of.)
 
steward
Posts: 4616
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
441
hugelkultur forest garden fungi books bee greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Do you think a craigslist add might find someone willing to haul them off?
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 11031
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
597
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's probably worth a try, if they don't want to much $$.
 
Posts: 750
Location: Bendigo , Australia
27
dog homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Surely if you collected them, you have an obligation to do the correct thing with them. What about some garden walls with them help together
with mud, I have seen garden seats, with a bit of a slope so water does not collect.
Think outside the square, you may find you will need more soon.
 
Posts: 58
Location: Alekovo near Svishtov, Bulgaria
23
dog duck chicken cooking pig wood heat
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Victorian small scale farmers often used glass bottles as additional insulation and strengthener in basic (pre pre-mix) concrete floors for pigstys and other livestock accommodation where the floor needed to have some insulated properties.
 
It's exactly the same and completely different as this tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!