05. 28. 2007
Every bartender wants a BottleCycler
Some people see bartending as a fun and glamorous way to make untaxed spening money, but those thrill seekers always fail to consider the more mundane aspects of the cocktail business. Someone actually has to clean up at the end of every night, and that includes carrying out all those empty bottles. For a long while I worked at a wine bar, and it wasn't uncommon to take the glass trash out four or five times in a night. I would have treasured a convenience like the BottleCycler.
The BottleCycler is simply a steel box with a couple of blades that spin around to break up glass bottles. Bartenders place empty bottles in the top, and the bulky bottles are turned into broken glass. The blades break the glass directly into a wheeled trash can so there's no contact with the condensed glass at all. The company claims that the volume of the empty bottles is reduced by 80% - so instead of having several boxes a night to carry, there's just a single trash can to wheel out once a week. High volume bars won't be a problem for the BottleCycler as those whirring blades inside the machine can handle up to 100 beer bottles a minute.
I would be thrilled if my local Health Department would make these machines a restaurant requirement to protect against employee injuries. I've seen some pretty nasty accidents where a broken beer bottle stabbed through a trash bag on the way to the dumpster. This way hospitality employees have no chance to come in contact with dirty broken glass, and there's no way to even accidentally get caught in the bottle crusher.
Pre-crushing the bottles also helps save energy in the recycling process - smaller garbage trucks are able to carry more glass at once and they need to make fewer collection trips. The company leases their bottle crushers to establishments, and then carts away all the broken glass for recycling. Their system is a pretty big time saver for an eco-friendly nightclub as there's no need to color sort bottles. BottleCycler takes care of the color divisions using sophisticated sorting machines back at the recycling center. The system is still Australia only for now, but I'm sure that we'll see similar concepts popping up around the world in the next year.