Our Story

Founded in 2020, Broken Arrow Glass Recycling is a creative glass recycling studio that offers the only residential curbside glass collection program in New Mexico servicing Santa Fe, Taos, and Los Alamos. BAGR is currently diverting a little over seven tons of glass recycling a month to their facility and steadily growing this quantity. The glass recycling is then processed at their facility into art and crushed glass material that can be used for flood diversion, erosion control, landscaping, eco-construction material, terrazzo, raw art material and more. By processing and creatively utilizing glass recycling locally, BAGR is creating a closed loop system for glass waste in New Mexico. BAGR was honored with Best Small Business of the Year award in 2022 through the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce. 

 

OUR STORY....

It All Started With A Bottle
Founder and CEO, Shelby Kaye, found herself craving Kombucha after Kombucha while pregnant with her first child in 2018. She quickly realized this craving was creating a lot of glass waste. This was when she had the idea to invest in a bottle cutting tool and get to work on turning her glass waste into a sellable product. The first creative product designed for BAGR was the kombucha bottle candle votive, pictured above. This moment marked the first creation of her closed loop system for recycling glass waste into art. Later Shelby found herself asking the question....if I can up-cycle my own glass waste....can I process and up-cycle others glass waste as well? 
It All Started With the Pandemic 
Durning the Pandemic of 2020, the local recycling centers shut down all drop off locations for glass recycling across the Santa Fe area. The community had nowhere to recycle their glass waste, as it is not picked up curbside from the local recycling center.  Shelby Kaye knew this meant that people were either throwing their glass recycling away or stock piling it for future hope of recycling. This is when she had the idea to ask on facebook groups if anyone would like for her to drive to their home to pick up their glass recycling. The mother of two knew that she would frequently drive her young children around durning nap time to get them to sleep so she thought, why not drive around and collect peoples glass from their home at the same time. Shelby continued to do this until she had about 25 people on her route and then pivoted to create the only doorstep glass collection membership program in Santa Fe. (On a rare occasion, she is still spotted out on collection with her children in the backseat of the truck!). BAGR now services hundreds of homes across Northern New Mexico in their curbside glass collection program. 
           
How Has BAGR Grown
BAGR knew from the beginning that up-cycling glass bottles into home goods would not translate to the amount of glass recycling that is in need of being recycled across the local community.  This is why BAGR started crushing glass recycling into raw material and is now the only glass processing facility in Northern New Mexico. BAGR has gone from up-cycling a couple hundred bottles at a time to processing tons of glass recycling at their facility. We are happy to announce that we have just upgraded from a single hand fed glass crushing machine to a small scale industrial glass crushing machine. 
Where Its Going
When Shelby Kaye started BAGR, she knew from her experience as a glass artist that the material of glass is magical and infinitely recyclable. She also knew that Santa Fe had a need for a curbside glass collection program, local glass processing facility, and an even greater a need for an aggressive approach to studying the material science behind the raw glass recycling material. BAGR is working with the Los Alamos National Labs, under a 2023 NMSBA project, to study the raw glass material. BAGR is becoming a global leader in their innovative and diverse products manufactured from raw glass recycling material. 
 
PIONEERING THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY WITH CLOSED LOOP GLASS RECYCLING IN NORTHERN NEW MEXICO