LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Backyard Sapphire has been recycling glass since February of 2021. They started by turning bottles into pebble-sized mulch, then expanded to include crushing glass into sand. Now they’re partnering with Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) to fill sandbags with what was once glass.

Tina Crapsi and Dawn Vincent run Backyard Sapphire, literally in their backyard. They started just by recycling glass into mulch, then nine months later also began crushing it into sand. LCG will use that sand to fill sandbags at the Dean Domingues Compost Facility.

An average collection week for Crapsi and Vincent nets between a half-ton to one ton of glass bottles. “We want to lower the negative impact our community has on the earth,” Crapsi said. “Our goal is to coordinate with the community to divert glass from our landfills. One way to do this is to use the sand to create a highly demanded, useable product – sandbags! We are so excited to be part of this full circle and look forward to more projects to reuse glass.”

LCG typically makes sandbags available for residents ahead of severe weather events like hurricanes or anticipated flooding.

Environmental Quality Supervisor Bess Foret said LCG’s collaboration with Backyard Sapphire is a great way to support a local business and divert tons of glass from landfills. LCG will continue receiving sand from other sources as well, Boret said, but this collaboration ensures an end-use for glass that would otherwise not be recycled.

Backyard Sapphire offers curbside pickup services for residents and businesses in the Lafayette area and has a drop-off site twice a week at Fightingville Fresh Market at 315 West Simcoe Street.