Fife’s recycled glass prevents disease and saves lives around the globe

How recycled glass from Fife is being transformed at an Edinburgh plant to help save lives

Recycled glass from Fife is being used to prevent disease and save lives around the world.
It’s being turned into a water filtration medium which replaces sand in different types of filters to treat both drinking and waste water by Bonnyrigg-based Dryden Aqua.
Dryden Aqua, a water treatment technology company, is recycleing Fife Council’s brown and green container glass and putting it to good use at a state-of-the-art plant near Edinburgh.
Most drinking water is treated by sand filters but in warm countries, such as India and Africa, it’s much more difficult to treat the water because of high water temperatures and pollution.
But innovative waters filter are putting Fife’s ‘empties’ to use by bringing disease-free drinking water to countries across the world.
Dryden Aqua manufactures innovative products including Activated Filter Media (AFM) to create the cleanest possible water using a filtration system made from tiny glass particles. And it’s these glass particles which are used in the water filtration process.
After arriving at the plant, the bottles are sorted, blasted with water and sterilised before being broken down into tiny particles. The structure of the glass is then changed by the activation process to make AFM. This AFM is more bacteria-resistant than sand and can replace sand in all filtration applications.
John Wincott, Fife Council’s sustainability champion, said: “The use of glass to create clean, safe water around the world is an innovative use of our recycling, and is another example of how recycling is becoming a vital element of future development.
“There are many benefits from recycling, and as Recycle Week 2016 approaches, Fife Council would like to thank local people for recycling more than ever before, and to remember to recycle their waste, so that it can be put to good use.”
Howard Dryden, managing director, Dryden Aqua, said: “In India, raw water is grossly contaminated and it is difficult to treat the water to the standards set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“As a consequence, up to 80% of all disease in India and Africa is from contaminated filtered drinking water.
“In many locations there is no water treatment and disease levels are high, which causes multiple disease incidents among people every year. Infant mortality can be as high as 25%, and the elderly and infirm also suffer as a consequence.
“By helping to provide safe drinking water, recycled glass is helping to save lives and improve the living conditions of people around the world – there has never been a better time to recycle your glass bottles.”
Dryden Aqua processes around 50,000 tonnes of glass bottles from Scotland’s homes every year to produce 30,000 tonnes of water filtration media AFM that is exported globally.
In the run-up to Recycle Week 2016 (12- 18 September), Fifers are being urged to remember to recycle glass in bottle banks at Recycling Centres and Points to help provide clean water across the globe.
To make it easier for the glass to be recycled, householders should remove bottle tops and empty the bottle contents.
Fife has one of the largest networks of recycling facilities in Scotland to help recycle as much waste as possible. Find out more here. 

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