Earth Day might be over, but the commitment to living green remains. We’ve explored easy ways to go green, how to start a recycling program, and what all those numbers mean on plastic packages. While plastics garner the most attention, we wanted to highlight glass recycling and how easy and beneficial it is to the environment.
Glass is 100 percent recyclable and does not lose quality or quantity when being remade into new glass containers. In fact, glass can be recycled over and over again indefinitely.
Glass recycling also uses less energy than manufacturing glass from materials like sand, lime and soda. The quick turnaround time for recycled glass has it back on store shelves within a month. With such great advantages, it’s surprising to find glass recycling ranked below paper, plastic and aluminum in a number of communities.
Most curbside programs DO accept glass. You may have to sort the glass into different colors. The most common colors are clear, green and brown. Metal lids should be removed and the glass container rinsed out with water. Check with your local garbage hauler for
Glass that ends up in a landfill will not decompose, even in a lifetime. Glass that is recycled can literally be reprocessed over and over again. The process is pretty simple. The glass is collected, sorted by color, crushed, re-melted with raw material and then formed into new glass products. Up to 40 percent can be saved in energy resources by using recycled glass.
Recycled glass that cannot be made into new bottles or jars can be used in other products such as tile, floors, countertops, landscaping, and as an ingredient in roadway products.
Glass products such as mirrors, window glass, light bulbs, and dishes are made with a different process and therefore cannot be recycled.