Glass recycling starts with eco-conscious consumers like you. Recycling reduces pollution, conserves energy and contributes to job creation. It’s mind-boggling, but true, that each glass bottle deposited in our landfills takes about one-million years to break down.
In comparison, each glass bottle you put in recycling receptacles is transformed into a new glass container in about one month. Most neighborhoods are at choice to either participate in curbside pick-up or use drop-off glass recycling collection points, which are usually located in supermarket or mall parking lots.
Do not put light bulbs or window glass in glass recycling bins. It is not cost-effective and it is too labor-intensive to recycle these items. Do recycle glass bottles and jars.
Glass recycling contributions are transported to the treatment plant that services your area. The process begins by meticulously washing and disinfecting previously used glass. Next is color sorting into three categories: clear, brown and green.
It’s important for the colors not to mix with each other as a mottled effect will result. (Mottled is where products are spotted or blotched with a different color) In addition, recycled glass must conform to industry standards.
The next step is to finely crush or grind up the glass into fragments called cullet. (Cullet is broken glass appropriate for re-melting.)
Finally, the cullet is melted and moulded into new glass products, i.e. jars, bottles and more.
For example, sustainable recycled glass countertops have burst on the scene and are works of natural beauty. Eco-gifts such as jewelry and Christmas ornaments are growing in popularity. Interestingly, products that require fillers such as concrete, carpet, rubber and latex use up to 50 percent recycled glass.
Once the glass is re-purposed, it is distributed to various manufacturers. Because glass is totally recyclable, it can be recycled over and over without losing its integrity.
You placed an empty pickle jar in the bin for curb collection. It travels to the treatment plant where it goes through the recycling process. It is crushed, melted and moulded into a new pickle jar. You go to the supermarket and buy a new jar of pickles. The jar could contain up to 70 percent of the glass from your original jar of pickles!
Reduce – Reuse – Recycle
Green living no longer applies only to tree-huggers. Responsible citizens worldwide are awakening to realize planet earth contains finite natural resources.
Glass recycling is so easy, a child can (and should) do it!