LAS VEGAS - If there's one thing Las Vegas has plenty of, it's booze. Our party town's cash cow, however, contributes to a glut of glass waste in the landfill. A new company called Bottles and Wood is turning those empty bottles into a great, green business opportunity.
"It's a real example of a sustainable business - taking a local waste stream, turning it into a product, employing local people, selling it back to the neighborhood," said Bottles and Wood CEO Steve Cherry.
Bottles and Wood turns those bottles into glasses, vases, cheese trays, even jewelry and light fixtures that all boast your favorite beverage brand. It's fun, hip, and personal.
"They'll go, ‘My friend loves Grey Goose. He's got a birthday, a housewarming party. I've got to get him a set of tumblers,'" Cherry said.
Cherry, a craftsman by trade, says he receives hundreds of bottles a day from local bars, restaurants and hotels.
"If the line is running full-tilt, eight hours a day, seven to eight guys, we'll try to do something in the range of six to seven hundred pieces a day. That's a lot. That's a lot of glass," he said.
Bottles and Wood also repurposes wood from shipping pallets and wine barrels from Napa, California. Partner Traci Ossa says it's not only people's strong brand allegiance that makes their products popular.
"People love the environmental message," Ossa said.
Restaurants like Bar + Bistro in the arts district supply empty, trash-bound bottles. They then buy back items like refashioned light fixtures to show their eco-allegiance to the planet. In this town, sexy and fun sells.
"The fun factor is the beer bottles mostly - Dead Guy Ale, Arrogant Bastard… and Yellow Snow IPA," Cherry said.