Where Can I Recycle Glass – What Is It Used For
If you are a savvy consumer, you may be asking yourself “where can I recycle glass?” This article will set out not only to answer that question, but to educate you as to why glass needs to be recycled.
Where Can I Recycle Glass? Why its a Good Question
Did you know that in 2012 America alone “generated 11.6 million tons of glass in the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream?” And from that number only around twenty eight percent of this glass was recycled? Soda, beer, wine food and liquor containers make up the largest source of glass that is both recycled and generated. Glass in appliances and furniture comprise the largest source of postconsumer glass.
“Where can I recycle glass” is a great question because this material can be recycled again and again. A whopping ninety percent of recycled glass goes into manufacturing new containers. It’s also utilized for counter tops, kitchen tiles and insulation that is used in walls. It is evident that more and more people beg the question “where can I recycle glass” because glass recycling has been steadily increasing in the recent years due to an increase in collection.
Many glass manufacturers need a steady supply of crushed recycled glass to supplement raw materials. This glass is also called “cullet.” Cullet doesn’t cost as much as using new materials, it needs less energy to produce, which is better for the environment, and it lengthens furnace life because it melts at a lower temperature.
Glass that is collected at the curb is typically intermingled – that is, different types and colors of glass will be collected together. The glass may then be sorted by color, or other types at a recovery facility. Some towns will require that people separate clear brown and green glass if it is not collected altogether. It’s important to sort the glass because different types have different melting points and there are incompatibilities with the chemicals.
Where Can I Recycle Glass and What is it Used For?
Glass container manufacturers need cullet to make their glass containers – the demand for cullet is greater than the supply. Quality cullet is used for abrasives, fiberglass, beads, and decorative applications. Lower quality cullet is used for insulation, driving safety material and tile.
Now to answer the question “where can I recycle glass.” Typically, you will want to recycle it at a responsible recycling company or drop your glass in a curbside pickup bin, depending on your area. Again, you may or may not have to sort the glass if you leave it for roadside pickup, depending on what town you are in. If you drop the glass off at a recycling company, it will go through a process of collection, sorting, breaking the glass down into pieces, and then it will be reused.
Recycling glass is a good idea because it can be reused again and again. You will be helping the earth and the economy. Hopefully we have answered your question “Where can I recycle glass and what is it used for?”