Glass 101: Which Types Of Glass Can Be Recycled?

The use of glass over plastic has been rising in popularity in recent years because of the effects plastic has on the environment and our health. Plastic has toxins that are not healthy for our bodies, and these toxins are emitted when the plastic is heated. Glass is far better than plastic for the environment because it can be recycled over and over again. However, some glass cannot be recycled at all, or needs to be recycled differently. So, before you throw all of your glass products in the recycling bin, be on the lookout for the items below.


Glass That Can Be Recycled:

For the most part, glassware that is used in the kitchen and for food items is completely recyclable. Items such as condiment containers, food storage, jars, and more can be put in your recycling bin. However, not all glass is the same. An easy way to know if your glass can be recycled is by looking at its recycling code. If it is an approved code by your recycling program, then it is likely safe to put in the recycling bin!


Glass That Can't Be Recycled:


Items made of ceramic appear to be similar to glass, but they are actually made of clay. The reason glass can be recycled is that the glass can be melted down again and shaped into something new. With clay, you cannot melt it down. There are some processes where organizations can crush up ceramics and add water to reshape it, but this does not happen at recycling plants.

If you do have ceramics that you would like to get rid of in a sustainable way, consider donating or selling them. There are many people that would love to give your ceramics a new use. You can also use your old ceramics for gardening or other household uses. Since you can’t recycle the ceramics, try to find another use for them before throwing them away.


Decorative Glass

Glass that has been painted, colored, or has foiling on it cannot be recycled. This is because the decorative features are not recyclable when mixed with other glass. Once the glass gets to the plant, it is melted down for other purposes. So, if there is painted glass mixed in it, the whole mixture becomes contaminated. Similarly to ceramics, you can sell your decorative glass if it is in good condition. You may also find a recycling center near you that takes decorative glass and reuses it. If there is a way to give your decorative glass a second chance before throwing it away, then that is best.

Additionally, window glass cannot be recycled with standard glass. This is because it was built for durability, and it has a different melting point than standard glass items. You can, however, try to take your window glass to a drop off center or a window manufacturer and see if they will recycle it for you. This way, the window glass goes to great use.


Be Confident With Your Recycling!

If you have any questions about which glass you can put in your recycling bin, please feel free to contact us. It is always best to ask if you are hesitant, that way we can avoid contaminating standard glass at the recycling plant. Many government recycling websites also have this information available so you can be confident when recycling your glass items.

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