The partnership with the recycling startup, which was founded by Tulanians, has expanded from one pilot project to eight collection hubs. They are located at the following residence halls: Aron, Paterson, Sharp, Monroe, Greenbaum (facing McWilliams), Josephine Louise, Butler (facing Weatherhead) and the Décou-Labat Residences.
The expansion could divert an estimated 250,000 pounds of glass annually from local landfills to Glass Half Full’s processing center, where it will be pulverized into coarse sand for coastal restoration projects in South Louisiana.
“With Glass Half Full operating in the city, glass recycling is now available when it has not been for some time,” said Jordan Stewart, assistant director of the Office of Sustainability. “We are excited to introduce glass collection hubs to our residential community this spring and look forward to expanding further in the future.”
Glass Half Full is the only provider of both glass collection and recycling service in New Orleans. It was founded in 2020 by CEO Franziska Trautmann, who graduated from the School of Science and Engineering in 2020, and COO and CFO Max Steitz, who is an international development student at Tulane. Their startup recently took home first place in the 2023 New Orleans Entrepreneur Week pitch competition with a vision to expand operations regionally. Now in their third year, they process glass collected at the city’s weekly recycling drop-off, host drop-offs for residents, and provide collection service to local businesses and residents.
"We are so excited to be partnering with our alma mater to make New Orleans more sustainable,” Trautmann said.
In the fall of 2021, the Residential Housing Association, a Tulane student-led body, together with support from Tulane Housing and Residence Life, partnered with Glass Half Full to test a dedicated glass collection hub at Aron Residences on Tulane’s uptown campus. Residential halls are the primary location on campus where glass waste is generated. The pilot proved to be a successful model for incorporating glass collections into campus operations.
Tulanian Riley Singer is the logistics director of Glass Half Full. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tulane’s School of Liberal Arts (SLA) in 2020 and a Master of Arts degree from SLA in 2021. Singer said it was a surprise to not be able to recycle glass when she first arrived in New Orleans as an undergraduate student. While in school, Singer contacted peers who were working on an initiative that later became Glass Half Full.
“Three years later, I'm proud of how far Glass Half Full has come and that we can now not only bring glass recycling home to Tulane, but to the whole city through our drop-off and pickup programs," said Singer.
This program has the potential to deliver significant reductions to Tulane’s waste streams and to help change the landscape of recycling options regionally. For more information on tips to lighten your impact and campus recycling services, including e-waste and book collections, visit recycle.tulane.edu or contact email@example.com. Learn more about the Glass Half Full alumni and their operation at glasshalffullnola.org.