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Recycling Ideas for Used Glass Bottles
We’ve sung about beer bottles on a wall, but have you ever built a wall out of beer bottles? Glass bottle walls are constructed from thickly spreading a type of mixture made from mortar and clay, adobe, cob, sand or cement. The result is a cool-looking stained-glass effect for a wall made with recycled materials.
Bottle walls range one bottle to two bottles thick and may be made from recycled mason jars, like those you get for your jam. Bottles in the walls work well as insulators and reduce concrete usage. Making use of empty vessels in construction dates back at least the ancient Romans.
Bottle Houses Around the USA
Entire houses are built using bottle walls, and other items reclaimed from the garbage.
That really must have been a good St. Patrick’s Day- Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, has a bottle house, made from over 3,000 whiskey bottles. The facade is actually a gift store. You may wonder why the openings to all of the bottles face inward. There would be too much noise when the wind blew if they faced the other way!
Also in California, Tressa “Grandma” Prisbrey transformed her 1/3 acre lot into Bottle Village, made of tens of thousands of bottles unearthed via her daily visits to the city dump. She began construction in 1956 at age 60, and worked until 1981. The Village features wishing wells, walkways, random constructions, plus 15 life size structures all made from found objects placed in mortar. For a collection of great pictures, visit the Bottle Village site.
The Kaleva Bottle House in Kaleva, Michigan, was built by John J. Makinen, Sr. using over 60,000 bottles from his bottling company. Both this house and Bottle Village are listed on the National Register of Historical Places.
Eco walls are also made from items like metal cans and tires. See Uprooted for inspiration and a great tutorial and additional pictures on how to construct a bottle wall yourself.
Finally, for a treat, check out this great bottle dog house.