We can recycle many things these days; paper, plastics, even metals. But can drinking glasses be recycled? Drinking glasses are made of different materials, making them difficult to recycle.
Generally, the type of glass dictates what kind of recycling it can go through.
You should check with your community or town on what they accept for recycling before throwing away old drinking glasses.
This blog post explains why drinking glasses are hard to recycle, how you can recycle your broken drinking glass at home, and the most common questions that people ask about recycling drinking glasses.
Can Drinking Glasses Be Recycled
In the recycling industry, drinking glasses are increasingly becoming contaminants. Broken glass contaminates paper, cardboard, and other recyclables, lowering their value if not disposed of properly.
Many recyclers focus on reducing contamination and quality, thus not interested in recycling drinking glasses.
A drinking glass is a health and safety hazard, and it can also vandalize machines. As the number of broken drinking glasses increases, the processing costs also increase.
Many recycling companies may have fewer funds available, making them not consider recycling drinking glasses.
Many manufacturers require drinking glasses sorted to produce quality jars and bottles.
However, this task can become complicated when broken down finely, which may cause the cost of separating different materials to become expensive, leading some companies to just send everything into landfills.
The drinking glass is a heavy, costly item to transport. Some communities have found that they can reduce these expenses by having them crushed for construction use only- and this may not be an ideal solution either.
In the 1980s, mandatory glass recycling programs were introduced, flooding markets with recyclable products, resulting in a steep drop-off.
With less demand and more options for other materials like aluminum or plastic since then, prices have also fallen, making recycling of drinking glasses even more complicated.
If you have a broken drinking glass at home and want to recycle it, simply put the pieces in your black cart as garbage.
Pack items safely by wrapping them with two layers of paper towel secured using string or rope—this will prevent any potential cut injuries from occurring during transport.
Label all containers ‘sharps’ not to get mixed up amongst other kitchen tools while being transported by service providers.
Frequently Asked Questions on Recycling Glass
What Happens To Drinking Glass if Not Recycled?
We all know that glass is never more than one slip away from being recycled, but did you also realize how many different things our favorite drinking vessel can do? It outlasts generations of people and kills wildlife.
Additionally, it contributes significantly to environmental stressors through endless recreation and playing roles in air pollution and water contamination when disposed of improperly or not recycled.
Why Can’t Colored Drinking Glass Be Recycled?
The color and decorative features of a drinking glass make recycling difficult. This can be solved by removing these materials before recycling, but this is not always possible with foiling or painting on the side.
Once at your local plant, all non-recyclable goods are melted down for use in other products like windows and vessels.
Can You Put Drinking Glass in General Waste?
Disposing of glass items is a little more complicated than other types of general waste.
You can’t just put them in with your regular garbage because they can pollute the environment and make people sick if they’re not disposed of properly, so you need to figure out how best for it all to go down—a recycling bin works well for these purposes.
Can You Recycle Napkins
The recycling of drinking glasses is not feasible because they are heavy, hard to sort out, and hazardous.
Glass has less demand than other materials so it’s more cost-effective for manufacturers to use new glass instead of recycled products.
It just isn’t practical or profitable enough to recycle them due to all the factors that go into processing these items.
Remember, if your goal is to create less trash, then start by using reusable straws and cups as much as possible.
If you are looking for a way to recycle your drinking glasses, we recommend donating them. You can also reuse the glass as an art project or sand it down and paint it with new paint.