Over two million pounds of glass has avoided Colorado landfills in July and August thanks to a partnership between the End of Waste Foundation (EOW), Rocky Mountain Bottling Company and Momentum Recycling.Read more
Glass is a transparent substance, made primarily from sand, soda ash, and limestone.
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Glass recycling helps the environment. The amount of energy needed to melt recycled glass is considerably less than that needed to melt raw materials to make new bottles and jars. Also, processing and using recycled glass in manufacturing conserves raw materials.
Is glass recyclable?
Yes, glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity - something few food and beverage packaging options can claim.
Is all glass recyclable?
No, not all glass types are recyclable. Some kinds of glass, like windows, ovenware, Pyrex and other types of heat-resistant glass, crystal, light bulbs, (television and computer) screens, mirrors etc. are manufactured through a different process. If such materials find their way into the glass container manufacturing process, they can result in production problems and defective containers.
Glass recycling is the processing of waste glass into usable products. The industry term for furnace-ready recycled glass is “cullet,”. Glass cullet is classified in sizes that can range from pebbles to sand and even powder.
Common non-container uses
- Fiberglass manufacturing
- Binder in ceramics and bricks
- Filler in paint and plastic
- Filtration media
How glass is recycled
- Collection - The consumer throws glass into a recycle bin.
- Transport - Glass is taken from the bin and taken to a glass treatment plant.
- Sorting and washing - The glass is sorted by color and washed to remove any impurities. The glass is also carefully inspected for contamination and hazardous materials.
- Crushing and melting - The glass is then crushed and melted. Furnace-ready cullet must be free of contaminants such as metals, ceramics, gravel, stones, etc. The glass in then moulded into new products such as bottles and jars. Or it may be used for alternative purposes such as brick manufacture or decorative uses.
- The glass is then sent back to the shops ready to be used again.
How to recycle glass
When it comes to glass recycling, there’s container glass, and everything else. That’s because non-containers are treated with chemicals to make them more durable and resistant to heat, but this reduces the recycling market.
First of all, do your best to prevent glass from breaking. Not only is broken glass dangerous for you, but it has little recycling value. If glass breaks, wrap it in a plastic bag before throwing away so sanitation workers won’t get injured handling it. For windows and mirrors, you’ll need to find a construction and demolition (C&D) recycler to process the material.
Where can I recycle glass?
Many communities include glass bottle and container collection in curbside collection programs. Non-containers that are treated with chemicals should be left out of the recycling bin, and need to be taken to a construction and demolition (C&D) recycler.
Where to recycle glass bottles?
You can either take your glass bottles and containers to residential curbside collection points or to drop-off collection sites, these drop off sites will transport the glass to glass recycling companies.
Articles about Recycle Glass
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Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department (EPD) introduced a glass bottle recycling scheme in Hong Kong which publicly launched 1st November 2018. This scheme and following Glass Container Recycling Charter are intended to increase public awareness of and participation in glass bottle recycling.Read more
The second largest Channel Island of Guernsey, a mere 78km² in area, is rapidly running out of space; its last landfill site, Mont Cuet, is scheduled to be full in 2022.Read more
TOMRA Sorting Recycling has introduced AUTOSORT COLOR, a new machine which works in combination with AUTOSORT LASER to separate glass from municipal solid waste with unprecedented effectiveness. AUTOSORT COLOR achieves purity rates greater than 95% at high throughput rates, even when input materials are wet, dusty or dirty.Read more
Knauf Insulation and Veolia have officially opened a new high-tech glass recycling facility in St Helens. Each year, over 60,000 tonnes of used glass bottles and jars will now be given a new lease of life as the partners join forces to clean, separate and refine household glass, before transforming it into high performance, energy-saving insulation solutions.Read more
MÜLHEIM-KÄRLICH – TOMRA Sorting introduces its new Laser Object Detection (LOD) system that, when used in combination with AUTOSORT and FINDER, boosts the circuit’s sorting capabilities, allowing waste and scrap recycling operations to reach final product purity levels unique to the market and never before possible. Featuring TOMRA laser technology that sorts based on the feed material’s spectral and spatial characteristics, the new LOD detects material that near infrared technology (NIR) is incapable of identifying.Read more