Deep in the Israeli desert millions of tiny glass shards have piled up in rolling hills of green and brown, creating man-made shimmering mountains. The glass mountains are made from Israel’s only glass container factory, Phoenicia Glass Works Ltd., which produces bottles for Israeli wineries and beverage giants such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Heineken. Over 300 000 defective bottles are discarded from the factory every day, which results in the mountains of glass.
Associated Press photographer Oded Bality noticed the gleaming glass heaps while on assignment for a project. He photographed the glass for another project called Glass Mountains.
“They put the glasses in the desert. It’s very symbolic. It’s like the bottles are dying there, and they get a new life. It’s like ‘from dust to dust.’ So to be in the middle of this circle, it’s something that I really enjoy watching,” Bality told National Geographic.
The factory runs 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The ovens can’t be turned off as the melted glass would harden and clog the machinery.
As the wind blows, the monotonous desert sands mix with the colourful glass and create a “surreal nature reserve,” says Bality.
Check out some of Bality’s images below. More can be found on National Geographic.