How To Recycle Glass
From bottles of beer, coca-cola, wine, and liquor to jars of salsa, pickles, honey, spices, and jam, glass is constantly used in packaging consumer products. Even after the invention and infamy of plastic, we didn’t permanently relegate glass. However, consumer products and kitchenware are not the only use of glass. The material is also used in constructions and buildings for insulation, radiation shielding and transmission, design, and reinforcement.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than12 million metric tons of glass were generated in the United States in 2018, approximately 4.2% of all municipal solid waste. Only 3.1 million tons were recycled, while 7.6 million ended up in landfills. With tens of millions of glass being generated and millions ending up in landfills, we need to intensify our efforts to recycle glass.
Why Dimension Sees Glass Waste Recycling As A Glass-Half-Full Venture
- Endless possibilities. Your glass can be recycled over and over with no reduction in quality.
- Save natural resources. For every ton of glass recycled, more than a ton of natural resources are saved.
- Often mandated. Glass recycling is often mandated by local governments, which means we can help you stick to the guidelines without worry.
- Saves Energy: less energy is used up in recycling than in producing new glass
- Reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions such as carbondioxide. For every 6 tons of glass recycled, 1 ton of CO2 is saved.
- Frees up landfill space.
Glass You Can Recycle
There are several glass materials in households, commercial businesses, and industries. Before tossing a piece of glass or perhaps a bulk of glass saved up over time, you may wonder where exactly you should be tossing it, in the disposable trash or a recycling bin?
According to many sources, glass is entirely recyclable. This is true that glass has endless possibilities; it can be smashed, broken, melted, and mixed with other materials to reproduce new glass materials. However, you shouldn’t just toss some plastic materials in the recycling bin.
Glass items used in food packaging such as salsa jars, olive oil, or honey jars are recyclable, and most glass items in the kitchen are recyclable. Generally, bottles and jars are known to have 100% recycling value. However, glass items that shouldn’t be recycled include glass cookware, crystal glass, eyeglasses, pyrex (non-heat resistant glass), light bulbs, window panes, mirrors, automotive glass, decorative glass, and ceramic glass.
You can check your kitchenware glass for the recycling logo to confirm that it’s recyclable. If it doesn’t have a recycling logo, you shouldn’t automatically put it in the recycling bin. You can also check your local recycling center or local stores to ensure that some of these items are recyclable. In many cases, the municipal recycling center may have specific glass items acceptable for recycling.
How To Prepare Your Glass Jars and Bottles for Recycling
- Remove the Lids and Corks that aren’t glass.
- Wash and rinse to remove all food materials, dirt, and contamination
- Remove all labels
- Put in a recycle bin separate from other recyclable materials.
How Recycled Glass is Treated at The Recycling Facility
Step 1: Collection and Transportation
First, the waste disposal service collects all the recyclable glass from homes, curbsides, offices, or businesses. The collected glass waste is transported to the recycling facility, where they’re recycled. Professional junk removal services such as Dimension can also help collect your glass waste and transport it to a glass recycling facility.
Step 2: Inspection and Sorting
The collected glass bulk is inspected at the recycling facility to ensure that it is free of contamination, hazardous materials, and non-recyclable waste. It is then sorted to separate the acceptable glass waste from other materials such as pyrex, cardboard, eyeglasses, cans, mirrors, etc. During this process, the glass may also be sorted based on color, often the brown and nonbrown glass materials.
Step 3: Initial Crushing
After sorting, the acceptable glass materials are broken into tiny pieces. Some air mist might be added here so that the tiny particles are contained rather than becoming airborne.
Step 4: Further Processing Into Cullets
After this initial breaking with machines, the glass goes through many repeat processes to become cullets. It may first be separated based on the sizes (3.4-3.8 inches) and go through a chamber where there’s a fan that removes the labels and stickers on the bottles.
Step 5: Drying and Primary Rotary
The glass is then dried and passed through an initial rotary screen which separates them further into sizes.
Step 6: Pulverizing and Secondary Rotary
The glass particles that couldn’t fit into the primary rotary are pulverized to break into tinier pieces, after which they’re all put through a second rotary screen which then separates them into sizes that are further processed for different uses. The sizes are usually in meshes such as 12-20 mesh, 20-40mesh, 40-60mesh and 70 mesh and below.
Step 7: Classification into cullets
They are then classified into cullets based on their sizes. They may be classified as pebbles, sand, or powder.
Step 8: Further processing into reproduced glass
After classification, the cullets are transported to facilities where they are further processed. They may be melted and mixed with other materials to create items such as fibreglass, new jars and bottles, metal foundry additive, ground cover, foam aggregate, and glass countertops.
Disposing of Your Glass Waste for Recycling
There are several ways to dispose of your glass to ensure it’s recycled. Once you’ve prepared the glass for recycling, you may leave it for curbside pickup. However, if a curbside collection isn’t available in your municipal, you should check to see if you can drop the glass waste at your local recycling center. You may use GlassRecycle’s map to find a close glass drop-off location close to you.
Hiring a Professional Junk Removal Service Glass Disposal
Just one glass bottle saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb on for hours; that’s something worth thinking about. Recycling your glass waste not only has an enormous, positive impact on the environment but is often legally mandated by local governments. TrashWarrior helps businesses stay in line with these regulations while designing a specific waste management solution that works for you and your company.
If you’re not ready to deal with the stress of recycling and repurposing yourself and still want to dispose of your glass waste responsibly, hire a professional waste disposal service and let them handle it. Some waste disposal services may offer this service for a price. Google “Glass Waste Disposal Services Near Me” and find some suggestions.
Dimension can help you out here! Not sure how to dispose of the bulk of used glass in your home or business? Give us a call, and we’ll get to it!
Get in touch with the Dimension team now, and we’ll talk you through a tailored, sustainable glass waste recycling plan that will save you time and help you run a planet-friendly, sustainable business.
We are a team of professionals, and we preach responsibility and compliance in waste disposal. We know how best to handle your glass waste and make sure it is disposed of and recycled sustainably.
What’s more? We don’t only handle glass disposal; we can help with other items you don’t need, including plastic disposal, mattress pickup, couch removal, furniture removal, cardboard recycling, appliance disposal, etc. And unlike most waste disposal/ junk removal companies, we are very affordable.
Give us a call today!