Chester Co. recycles glass into free mulch

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CHESTER COUNTY, Tenn. — The Chester County Solid Waste Department has developed a clever and free way to add sparkle and shine to your flowerbeds. Your garbage can help your garden. Turning trash into twinkling garden mulch is going to save Chester County money, according to Danny Benard, the director of the solid waste center. The new idea is taking recycled bottles and grinding them into soft stones. “To try and help the county and cut down on the cost of diverting it to a landfill, we’ve been crushing it and putting it around flowerbeds,” Benard said. The solid waste department received a grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment to purchase a glass crusher. “The glass crusher that we have has a tumbler in it, so it’s really easy on your hands. I mean, it doesn’t cut you,” Benard said. Bernard said it will help you keep green in your pocket. “Once it cleans the dust off, I mean, it’s there forever — it never decays,” he said. “Usually mulch you have to replace it once a year, every other year. This is there forever.” The recycled glass is a safe alternative to mulch. It’s soft to touch, and it won’t kill your flowers. “In the summertime it will get hot, the glass will, which will keep insects from crawling, so it’s just great.” Emily Johnson, executive director of the Henderson-Chester County Chamber of Commerce, is the first person to use the recycled glass as mulch. “It has helped our flower beds,” Johnson said. “It’s been a unique design element for one thing, and it’s also helped keep in moisture and keep the weeds at bay.” And people are taking notice. “We love the look of it,” Johnson said. “We’re getting lots of great compliments, and we think it’s a great benefit to our chamber.” The Solid Waste Department said it is safe for your pets but to be cautious if you have small children. There currently is a waiting list for those who want it.

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