Individuals across the globe use glass for a variety of purposes. In any grocery store, for example, many items come packaged in glass. Homes around the world feature glass windows, as do cars, and this material makes breathtaking decorative accessories for the home. When a person no longer wants or needs an item or they use a consumable product, what should you do with the glass? How can you dispose of it in a safe manner? Can you recycle the glass?
Glass serves as one of the most recycled materials today, which is of great benefit to the planet. It requires less energy to recycle this material than it does to create new. As a result, carbon emissions decrease, and new materials aren’t needed to create more of this common item.
Most people put their glass to be recycled in the household recycling bin. During a large project, however, a person may need a bigger container to hold materials for recycling. Discount Dumpster Rental offers several dumpster options to help each person find the right container for their needs.
What types of glass can you recycle?
People can only recycle certain types of glass. Food and beverage containers, for example, are appropriate for recycling. The key to knowing whether a glass item should make its way into the recycle bin lies in knowing the manufacturing process used to create the item.
Items inappropriate for recycling
Certain glass items cannot be recycled. When making non-recyclable glass items, manufacturers add other materials to the glass.
These non-recyclable glass items include windows, mirrors, lightbulbs, crystals, and glass cookware. Using this glass in the recycling process leads to production issues and defective glass items. Knowing what can and cannot go through the recycling process remains crucial.
How do you recycle glass?
Before placing glass items in a recycle bin, rinse them thoroughly to ensure you remove all food. Any food present in the glass contaminates the recycling process and increases odors.
Taking this step simplifies the recycling process. Remove all lids, including corks.
If possible, take labels off of glass containers when sorting your rubbish at home to help the planet. Although the labels can remain on during the recycling process, the labels produce more fumes when the recycling center heats the glass.
Where to recycle glass
Many people benefit from curbside glass recycling in their homes. Take advantage of this service to recycle more glass.
If a waste removal service doesn’t offer this option, use a local drop-off location or recycling center to dispose of the glass. Stockpile items until it is time to make the trip. When away from home, look for recycling bins and place glass items in them.
How facilities recycle glass
When they arrive at the local recycling facility, a machine sorts and washes the glass items. The recycling facility removes any non-glass items to prevent contamination during the recycling process, and the containers make their way to a crushing machine. The machine crushes the glass to create cullet or small gravel-like pieces.
The cullet moves down a conveyor belt so the machine can remove any remaining contaminants. Once this process is complete, the cullet is packaged, and the recycling facility sells it to a company for repurposing.
That company melts the glass and makes new products. The benefit of this is the temperature required to melt existing glass is lower than needed to create new glass, which helps the environment by reducing the use of natural resources.
Uses for recycled glass
Manufacturers use recycled glass for a variety of purposes. They make new glass containers, beach sand, fiberglass containers, reflective paint, and more. People likely encounter recycled glass in their daily lives without knowing they are doing so.
Glass remains in abundance today. That is due in part to the ease of recycling the material.
While not all glass can be recycled and reused, consumers should know when it is appropriate. Doing so helps save the planet, which benefits humans everywhere.
Want more green tips? Check out this guide on how to save energy in the workplace.