Scrap glass avoids the landfill and provides cost savings for Corning
For each piece of glass that you touch on your phone or tablet, small pieces of scrap glass from its manufacturing operations are sent to the landfill. These leftover pieces compound into millions of pounds of scrap. Looking ahead to the responsibility Corning has to its communities and the environment, the company has carefully rethought how it can reduce this waste.
Instead of flooding landfills around the world with more than 70 million pounds of scrap glass annually, Corning now recycles it into a cost-effective raw material for other high-tech applications.
Under a program led by the company’s Global Supply Management, Corning plants in Taiwan, China, Japan, and Korea take the glass scrap and crush it into a powdery substance called cullet.
Glass is highly stable outside of the melting tank, so the crushing alters neither its chemical composition nor its physical properties. This stability facilitates reuse in a number of supply chain applications.
The cullet is frequently sold back to a supplier where it can be repurposed for a different glass application at Corning. This reprocessing has started an innovative supply chain cycle between the suppliers and Corning’s business divisions – cutting down on the amount of material waste.
The environment isn’t the only thing being saved by this program. Combined with landfill-fee savings, the cullet program represents significant cost savings overall, with targets set even higher as the program gains momentum.