Tucked in a warehouse a mile from the Las Vegas Strip, a handful of employees cut, grind, sand and polish glass — turning tourists’ trash into treasure.
It’s the business of bottles, and there’s certainly no shortage in Las Vegas. The Strip’s 24-hour party cycle sends scores of empty liquor, wine and beer bottles to the trash, much of it destined for burial at a landfill.
The demise of this perfectly good glass troubled Steve Cherry, founder of Bottles & Wood, a new Las Vegas-based company that repurposes discarded alcohol bottles.
“The last thing we should be doing with these bottles is crushing it and filling a landfill,” he said. “That does nothing for anyone.”
His business idea didn’t start in Las Vegas, though. A Southern California native, Cherry began repurposing glass water bottles to make candleholders for a friend’s restaurant. Customers approved of the new decor and asked where to buy it.
A sudden demand for the unique glassware got Cherry, a former software executive, thinking: Could this little side business be the start of something greater?
“I was like a shop guy when I was a kid,” he said. “Never thought I was going to make a living at it.”