Minnesota Pollution Control Agency grant takes recycling to a new level for Employment Enterprises Inc.
11 Jan 2021
Despite that 2020 has been a gloomy year for Employment Enterprises Inc. (EEI) in Little Falls due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit 503(c)(3) organization received some good news from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
EEI Executive Director Pam Baltes said the organization had submitted a grant application to MPCA that would take recycling at their facility to a whole new level. The winning grant, titled “Research and Development to Convert Glass to Sandblast Material,” received $51,945.45.
The project to purchase a machine that will allow them to convert the 71 tons of glass they collect annually to marketable sandblast grit in multiple sizes to meet the needs of customers. Once the glass collection can be managed, EEI will partner with other haulers in Morrison and Todd counties to collect their glass, said Lucie Amundsen, public information officer with MPCA.
“By the end of three years, our goal is to get out 500 tons per year,” Baltes said.
At this time, the glass is crushed and then shipped to the Twin Cities where a company purchases the glass for $15 per ton. By turning the glass into a usable product — sandblast grit, EEI will be able to sell it for about $200 per ton.