SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- The Waste Management Phoenix Open is well-known for its "zero waste" effort. The event places heavy emphasis on its 100-percent recycling programs.
And, now, thousands of empty wine bottles from at the event will get re-purposed in a whole new way.
In a pilot program, Waste Management will ship upwards of 2,000 wine bottles from this year's WMPO to a Valley company that will "refresh" that glass into a whole new look with a whole new use.
Because where some see trash, others see art.
For six straight years, the "Greenest Show on Grass" has generated nearly 6-and-a-half million pounds of garbage.
"That's for the glass, the recycle, [and] the compost," says Janette Micelli of Waste Management. "Actually, we track the weights on every single recycling commodity."
But not one piece of trash, according to Waste Management, has made it to a landfill.
"We have our recycling and compost bins, donation to local communities, storage for reuse, and then the creation of energy," explains Micelli.
So how do wine bottles... become art?
"That rim is 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit," explains Ray DelMuro of Tempe-based Refresh Glass, as he shows us the creative process behind converting a wine bottle into a new piece of home decor.
"And it's going back down to ambient temperature so you'll see it go from bright orange like a campfire back to its normal color."
DelMuro has rescued more than a million bottles in a project that began 10 years ago from his garage. It's a dream he set out to accomplish: to create a company that is earth-friendly, sustainable and functional.
Today, his business is housed in a Tempe warehouse. That warehouse is now home to some 85,000 recycled wine bottles.
It's here where the bottles are cut into their new design, melted, polished, etched and boxed ready to be shipped.
"So when we transform each bottle into a self-watering planter, a carafe or different size glasses in various colors. They can be used by families at home or gifts for businesses."
Last year, the Phoenix Open collected 59 tons of glass for recycling.
From that pile, this year, 2,000 wine bottles will be re-directed, and will end up at Refresh Glass to get a second chance as drinkware or home decor; a piece of art that will live on.
"If you’re going to make something, make it right, and for the right reason," says DelMuro. "All of our products started because of a passion to create something that truly married form, function and purpose in the best way possible."
If this pilot program is successful, this partnership is something Waste Management says can grow in the future, with more bottles being diverted, or with other "green" Valley companies.
"Waste management is focused on bringing attention to these companies that are doing proactive work who are really making a difference in the community," says Micelli. "We're calling it closing the recycling loop."
For more information, visit the Refresh Glass website.