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Chattanooga, it's time to recycle your glass.

Overlooked Materials offers Chattanooga's first curbside glass recycling service since 2018 and first local processing since the 1980s. And, we're here to last as long as your glass (a long time).

Curbside service has begun!

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Scenic City has a glass problem.
Because we can't put glass in city recycling bins...

> 90%

of glass ends up in
area landfills even though
it's 100% recyclable

250 miles

is the roundtrip journey made
for each load of glass
currently departing from Chattanooga

~ 0%

of glass from area
restaurants, bars, hotels, and
businesses gets recycled

But you can be a part of the solution.

When you’re finished with that bottle or jar you have three options:

  1. Throw it in the trash (don’t do that).
  2. Drive it to your local recycling center.
  3. Choose Overlooked Materials, and let us pick it up from your house or business.

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Build a more sustainable Chattanooga

Our goal is to build cost-effective recycling ecosystems for materials where current recycling models aren’t effective or don’t exist. Help us fill in the gaps as we work toward a climate-friendly Chattanooga.

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Keep your glass local

Keeping materials hyper-local makes the entire process more environmentally friendly and less costly. Your glass gets picked up, recycled, and used again right here in the city.

Join a community with an impact

We’re all in this together. We’ll promote businesses and organizations that partner with us, and you’ll be a part of something bigger. Join us at our facility to see your glass recycled in real-time.

Stick around for the long-haul

We’ve invested in a process that can provide enough capacity for all the glass waste in the Chattanooga area. We’re here for the long haul—and we hope you are, too.

Who can recycle with Overlooked Materials?

We’ve invested in a process that provides enough capacity for all the glass waste in the Chattanooga area. We’re here for the long haul—and we hope you are, too.

Sign up now

Local Residents

Take your glass straight to the curb. We’ll pick it up once per month and give you exclusive access to our production facility.

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Multi-Family Communities

Give your residents a perk they truly want. Offer community-wide glass recycling to reduce your neighborhood’s waste (and claim awesome bragging rights to attract new residents).

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Businesses & Organizations

As a Chattanooga business, you can’t take your glass to the recycling center. Unless you’ve come up with a creative solution, most of your glass finds its way to the landfill. Join these other business and organizations who have already partnered with us, and we’ll change that for you.

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Blog & Resources

Want to learn more about recycling at Overlooked Materials?

Blog

A Primer on Glass Recycling in Chattanooga Metro

The Scenic City, River City, Hill City, Gig City–Chattanooga has a lot of nicknames! Let’s try another one on for size: Glass City. It may not roll off the tongue easily, but it rings true. Or at least it did ring true. Chattanooga was once the glass capital of the South.

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Blog

A Message From our Founder

My family and I moved to Chattanooga in early 2021 with 3 young daughters in tow. We were living in Germany at the time, and the weight of the pandemic was bearing down on us. As my wife and I contemplated this next step in life, it was important for us to find a community where we could see ourselves raising our family.

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Blog

Our Solution

Glass recycling is tricky, especially for mid-sized cities like Chattanooga. Did you catch our note about that truck making a ~250 mile return journey to pickup our glass? This happens because there is no local processing of glass. To set up a processing facility that can clean and sort glass efficiently, you need A LOT glass.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Glass is fundamentally a 100% recyclable material. However, glass has a lower recovery value compared with other recyclables like aluminum, tin, and cardboard.  The collection & processing of glass introduces all sorts of safety and maintenance challenges into single stream recycling processes. As a result, glass is not collected curbside in the much of the US.

Here in the Chattanooga region, more than 90% of post-consumer glass is not recycled. That’s more than 10,000 tons per year in our area which ends up in area landfills. The volume of glass that residents do recycle is processed in a way which is economically and environmentally unsustainable. Trucks make ~250 mile roundtrip journeys to pick up the glass, and it currently costs the City of Chattanooga and other area municipalities more to recycle than it would to send the glass to a landfill.

Couple of things to unpack here!

The drop off recycling centers are usually restricted to residents only. This means that businesses—restaurants, hotels, offices, etc.—cannot use the drop off points. More than half of all glass waste comes from non-residential entities, and almost all of this “commercial” glass ends up in a landfill.

For residents, when you recycle with us you’ll not only save your time, but by eliminating the collective thousands of inefficient miles driven to drop off recyclables, we expect to conservatively reduce the carbon footprint of your recycling efforts by >75%. (Contact us if you want to talk our math!)

Not at all! The equipment we use leverages a patented process to mill and tumble glass. The resulting products are certainly rough (think coarse sand and gravel), but the sharp edges are gone. In effect, we do through milling what takes mother nature years to create through sea glass.

Contact us to learn more. We’ll strive to answer your questions as transparently as possible.

Let's get started.