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    How to Dispose of Glass

    The use of glass is widespread, both in America and around the world. Globally, the glass industry produces several million tons every year. Some of that glass is used for long periods of time in windows, mirrors, lighting, furniture, tableware and more—while more disposable glass like bottles, jars and other containers is discarded much more frequently. In fact, it’s estimated that Americans dispose of enough glass jars and bottles in a single month to fill up an entire large skyscraper. The good news is, most of the glass we dispose of from packaged consumer goods can be recycled.

    Disposing of Recyclable Glass

    If you have recyclable glass, like bottles, jars or other containers that have the triangular recycling symbol on them, then disposing of them is easy. All you have to do is put them in your recycling bins. Your recycling service will haul them away, as long as they’re not broken.

    The glass in these items is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without any loss in purity or quality. The glass industry collectively purchases nearly 3.35 million tons of recycled glass annually. It gets remelted and repurposed for use in the production of new glass containers, fiberglass products and more. The only way your recycler will not take recyclable glass is if the items are cracked or broken. In that case, they should be thrown in your trash.

    Repurpose Your Glass

    Whether your glass is recyclable or non-recyclable, there are many ways that glass can be reused or repurposed. Older windows can be hung as wall décor to bring a vintage interior design touch. Jars, bottles and glasses can re-used in an infinite number of ways, from seedling planters to containers for food, screws and other objects. If you’re into crafting, glass containers can also be painted and decorated to bring a unique look. Even broken glass can be repurposed. Try smoothing it out in a rock tumbler or creating a beautiful mosaic that can be placed in a frame or used as an ornate tabletop.

    Sell Your Glass

    Depending on the type of glass you have and the amount you’re looking to get rid of, selling your glass may also be an option. There are companies that repurpose and resell used glass and other items who may be willing to pay you for your glass.

    At repurposedMATERIALS, we buy and sell used and unused materials. We may be interested in purchasing your glass from you. We are typically most interested in glass panels, mirrors, and windows that are in good condition. Contact us to find out more.

    Disposing of Non-Recyclable Glass

    Disposing of non-recyclable glass becomes a much tricker proposition. For starters, there’s a lot of confusion over what types of glass are recyclable. While glass containers from food and beverages are 100% recyclable, many other types of glass, like those used in windows, mirrors, ovenware, tableware, crystal, and other applications are not.

    Disposing of Larger Pieces of Glass

    If you’re disposing of a larger piece of glass, contact your waste management company or your municipality to find out what their guidelines are for hauling glass items away. In many cases, especially when the glass is from a window, mirror or frame, they will require you to place duct tape over the glass to ensure that it stays together and doesn’t separate into sharp broken pieces if it breaks during transit.

    Disposing of Broken Glass

    If you have glass items that are broken, follow your waste management company’s guidelines for safely disposing of the glass in the trash. Larger panes of cracked glass will require the taping guidelines mentioned above. And they will likely require that that smaller pieces of broken glass be placed in a box or be double-bagged to minimize risk of injury to their workers. They may also require you to label it “Glass for disposal.”