BOISE -- The Ada County Highway District has a small problem with a large mountain of glass. It's sitting in a facility south of Boise, and it has been for years.
Back in 2007, the City of Boise made an agreement with the Ada County Highway District. The city gave ACHD all the recyclable glass it picked up, instead of paying to recycle it.
"It was going to be a great situation for us, because initially we were going to be mixing it with gravel, and using it on the shoulders of roads and things of that nature," said Nicole DuBois with ACHD.
But, that didn't quite work out. ACHD couldn't use nearly enough of the stuff, and also, Dubois says, "The glass had a reflectivity quality that caused a glittering in peoples' eyes as they were driving, and it created issues. So, we had to stop using it for that."
So, the glass piled up, creating a huge mass of glass in an ACHD facility south of town.
"It's not a pile of glass," says DuBois. "It's a mountain of glass."
But, back in 2011, the City found another use for its' glass. It now goes to Environmental Abrasives, a local company, for use in sandblasting.
Catherine Chertudi with the City's Public Works Department says, "The cost to ship glass is prohibitive and there are very few recyclers that will take it with mixed colors."
But, with this agreement, they can now recycle glass locally for a relatively low cost, and keep it out of the landfill. But, while that helps the City, and keeps ACHD's glass mountain from getting any bigger, it also doesn't make it any smaller.
DuBois says a number of other possible solutions have been tried, and failed, "So, it's just kind of been a little comedy of errors since we started this process."
The latest idea is using the small amount of the glass that's already been crushed to help fill pipe trenches. But, DuBois says there's no plan right now to do anything with the rest of the glass mountain, "We just keep trying these solutions and nothing has worked."