I just arrived in New Orleans after spending three years in Japan. I'm wondering if you can direct me to any glass recycling points here.
There is a dearth of glass recycling options in our area. The city doesn't pick up glass because Louisiana doesn't have a state-run glass recycling plant and there are no glass manufacturers nearby.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, glass can be recycled over and over without losing its strength. Recycled crushed glass, known as "cullet," can be used instead of raw materials in making new glass, which saves money. Because it melts at a lower temperature, cullet also saves energy, but that savings would be canceled by the energy and cost expended to transport the material a long way.
After Hurricane Katrina, Phoenix Recycling offered curbside recycling. When the city's recycling program resumed, Phoenix Recycling's curbside pickups no longer were needed. The company refocused on partnerships with local restaurants and bars, which dispose of quite a few beer and wine bottles. Phoenix Recycling has been recycling glass for more than a year. It ships it to Pearl Aggregate Materials in Mississippi, which makes it an aggregate that is added to cement and asphalt mixtures to raise the grade of those materials.
There are other options for glass recycling. Target stores have recycling bins near their customer service counters and accept glass, as long as it's not broken or otherwise dangerous to handle. Tulane University's Newcomb Art Department accepts clear glass, but call (504) 865-5327 before you go, since donations sometimes overwhelm its capacity.
Another option is to reuse or repurpose those glass containers. There are plenty of do-it-yourself art projects online for creating candleholders, mosaics, cups and more.