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New Orleans Entrepreneurs Turn Glass Waste into Coastal Restoration Resource

Posted on May 1, 2024

In the vibrant city of New Orleans, known for its spirited culture and unfortunately, its high waste production, two college entrepreneurs have pioneered a sustainable solution to tackle both glass waste and coastal erosion. Franziska Trautmann and Max Steitz, Tulane University seniors in 2020, launched Glass Half Full to confront the city’s lack of glass recycling services. Their initiative has not only provided a local recycling option but has turned a waste problem into an environmental restoration tool.

New Orleans, despite its festive atmosphere, did not have a curbside recycling program for glass, leading to most bottles ending up in landfills. This was a troubling fact for Trautmann and Steitz, who saw an untapped opportunity to aid the rapidly eroding wetlands surrounding their city. Their solution was simple yet innovative: collect glass waste locally, crush it into sand, and use it for environmental restoration and other sustainable projects.


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