Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains Of Glass

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

Image Cache: Deep in the heart of Israel's desert, shimmering mountains of green, brown and white glass dominate the landscape, awaiting a new life. It's a beautiful spectacle. Browse through the cool photos, animations and diagrams in Gizmodo's Image Cache here.

Here, at the Phoenicia Glass Works Ltd. in the town of Yeruham, a million bottles and containers are produced every day for beverage giants such as Coca Cola and Pepsi, as well as Israeli wineries and olive oil companies. Thanks to Asscociated Press photographer Oded Balilty we can have a rare peek inside this dazzling place.

Israel's only glass container factory works around the clock, every day of the year. About 250 employees keep things running, and they even work on Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest day, when everything else in the country grinds to a halt. During the manufacturing process the glass pieces are shovelled into the ovens to be fired into new glass bottles. Sand, the basic ingredient of glass, is hauled in from a nearby desert quarry. The workers can never turn off the ovens, because the molten glass would harden and clog them.

The factory also recycles glass bottles from across the country. Giant machines grind the bottles into shards and piles them into rolling hills of green and brown in the factory junkyard to be melted into new bottles later. The colourful mountains of glass are also stunningly huge — 15m high and span the length of several soccer fields.


Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

An employee checks the quality of glass bottles on the production line.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

Workers unload defective glass bottles to be recycled

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

An employee carries a box of defective glass bottles to be recycled.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

Glass bottles move on the production line.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

A worker takes a cigarette break.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

Broken glass bottles are piled up to be recycled.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

A worker pushes a wheelbarrow with broken glass bottles while new Coke bottles move along the conveyor belt.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

A worker sweeps sand used to manufacture glass bottles.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

A tire hides in a hill made of green glass bottles.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

A worker breaks defective glass bottles.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

A worker breaks more clear glass bottles.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

These rolling green hills are made of glass.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

Birds fly above broken glass.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

The landscape is undeniably industrial but somehow beautiful.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

Vegetation tries to survive.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

Look at this tree.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

Here's the production line.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

Bottles become reborn in fire.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

The brown and green glass mountains look uncanny.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

A worker collects plastic bottles.

Israel's Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass

This is bottle crushing at its best. Photos: Oded Balilty / AP


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