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By Steve
Although I'm a true fan of recycling, I hate glass containers. There's one in my back yard, and every time someone throws in a bottle, I can hear it in my entire flat. Even worse, there's a bar on the same block where I live, and every morning they dump last night's bottles into the container, I simply fall out of bed.

I've spoken to the local trash authorities about this problem, but they say they have experimented with silent glass containers in the past, and that it can't be done. I personally believe that these people are idiots: humans can fly people to the moon, they build submarines and try to extinct themselves by releasing complicated radicals into the atmosphere. Building a silent glass container should be much easier.

Reward: Replace the noisy container in my back yard.
By AaronAgassi
Now, that's a real engineering challenge, that breaks down into two requirements:

First the bottle tossed into the system must loose it's entry velocity. Second, the bottle cannot make hard contact, especially with any other glass.

Therefore, what comes to mind becomes like a vending machine in reverse:
Bottles and jars, one at a time, speed into a cone of netting, and then go through a turnstile into individual slots in a shock absorbing box.

This leave the problem of extracting bottles, one at a time, out from a box or bin of them:
The box or bin is first flooded with polystyrene "peanuts", recovered again at the end of the process. The box is then covered and tilted. Then the bottles are allowed to escape, one at a time, through a slot in the cover, into the entry net cone.
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By Steve
I think the velocity approach is a very good one. As far as I know, the tests that have been made in my area have been made with different materials. Perhaps it's the entire concept of throwing a bottle into a container that should be overthought. Even if two bottles make contact, at a lower speed it should only make a clicking sound.

Didn't quite get your idea about the reverse vending machine. Would it use energy (=bad)? I'm afraid that the netting cone would use too much space - trash containers are designed to take as little room as possible while at the same time you can stuff them to the top so they don't have to be emptied too often.

Polystyrene: I guess the problem is that bottles will break, and extracting splinters from "peanuts" could prove difficult. Also, the bottles will lie on top of the polysterene, so after a couple of hours the problem will be the same.

One more thing: The guys in my backyard dump entire boxes of bottles into the container - this would definitely be an additional challenge.

How about filling the entire container with water?
By AaronAgassi
The concept reverses the process of the vending machine, by packing away and compartmentalizing bottles, rather than releasing them from compartments. Hopefully, the gravitational/kinetic energy of the bottles would be sufficient.

Also, I address the box dumping.
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By Steve
The weak point about using kinetic energy would probably be that you should also be able to insert broken bottles or mini-jars. Maybe a mechanical process that you have to initiate after inserting your bottles would help, but I wonder if this would be accepted by the average recycler.

How about this: A container that hydraulically changes its size. As long as there few bottles in the container, the container will stay low. The advantage would be that the bottles would fall from a low attitude, thus reducing velocity and noise. Then through the weight of the glass already in the container, the walls of the container will gradually rise and give more room for additional bottles.
By AaronAgassi
Softening impact and slowing velocity is easier than changing the bin size.
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By Steve
Now I got it: A small dwarf sitting inside the container catching each bottle with a pillow. Brilliant, eh? :-D
By AaronAgassi
First of all, the netting must be configured to skatter, keep separate and then slow the bottles as they enter.

But any solid interior surfaces will have to be adequatly padded.
By Ken Miller
Incinerate them on the spot.
By AaronAgassi
...geothermally, from special magma taps deep through the Earth's mantle!
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By Steve
Perfect! ;-D
By AaronAgassi
And so practical, too!
By kerri
Why do they make glass bottles anyway? I mean we have plastic bottles and the plastic can be recycled to keep making the plastic bottles and glass ones cause such a problem, they break, make a lot of noise, etc. There's just no point to continue making glass bottles when they are such an inconvenience so why do they do it? :-{
By AaronAgassi
Plastic is petrol, glass is sand.
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By Steve
Don't want to drag this topic into a different direction, but anyway...

Plastic can't be recycled the same way as glass can. Plastic bottles will become chairs and boxes for other bottles, but they will never become drinking bottles again. Also, the recycling quota for plastic is EXTREMELY low.
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