Glass Recycling

Can I recycle windshields, plate glass and lab glass?

Virtually all residential recycling programs that include glass are geared to collect glass packaging - bottles and jars that held food, beverages or toiletries. Mixing any other type of glass with these could contaminate all the glass the community has collected and make it unmarketable.

This is because glass packaging is soda lime glass. That means it is made from sand, soda ash and limestone. Other kinds of glass can contain a variety of other ingredients, which could cause problems in a glass container melting furnace.

Laboratory glass can be particularly risky, as it may be either borasilica or soda lime. Any chemicals remaining in the lab glass may also be a concern.

Some brokers do handle different types of glass, though often only in bulk quantities. Bulk quantities are unlikely to be found in a household setting. If you have a substantial amount of non-container glass, your best bet is to consult local recyclers.

Glass Quiz

To be recycled, glass containers must be:

a. Segregated by brand

b. Aged in oak barrels

c. Color-sorted and contaminant free

Cullet is:

A. Broken glass used in the manufacture of new containers

B. What you do when you want your dog to come

C. A new glass processing system

America's first glass recycling was done:

A. By the early Egyptians

B. By glassmakers in Jamestown, VA

C. Following the first celebration of July 4th

Where the majority of recycled glass goes:

A. South for the winter

B. Back into new bottles and jars

C. Roadway sub-base

The primary ingredients of a glass container:

A. Ceramics, rocks, and metal caps

B. Sulfur, hydrogen and sand

C. Sand, soda ash, limestone and cullet

Information provided by the Glass Packaging Institute

Answers: C, A, B, B, C


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