How to Recycle Glass

Do you know how to recycle glass the right way? Even if you're a frequent recycler, you may not be familiar with some of the intricacies of recycling. For example, did you know that not all glass is the same and not all can be recycled?

Before tossing that glass jar into the recycling bin, think about whether you can get another use out of it. Pretty jars or bottles can double as vases or containers for homemade candies during the holidays. When you reuse a glass bottle or jar, you're getting a little more out of it; and that's great for the environment.

Generally when someone is talking about recyclable glass, they mean container glass. Container glass includes bottles and jars (like those empty spaghetti jars and old-fashioned cola bottles). Check with your town or local recycling center to find out what kind of glass they will accept. Rinse out any glass bottles or jars you intend to recycle, but don't fret about getting every last bit of jelly from the jar. Recycling centers get rid of the remnants of food and drink from glass before melting it down. Remove lids and toss metal lids in with recyclable metal.

Other types of glass, such as colored (other than green and the amber that beer bottles usually are), Pyrex, mirrors, light bulbs, windows and windshields, aren't generally accepted by your local recycling center. That's because they have a different melting point than container glass, so that your local recycling center can't handle them.

That doesn't mean that all other types of glass can't be recycled; you'll just have to do a little research to find a place that will take it. For example, your hardware store may take those light bulbs. Mirrors however, can't be recycled at all. If it's broken, it has to go in the trash. (Of course, if it's not, consider donating the mirror to a thrift store.) The internet is a valuable tool to use when trying to find someone to take your old glass products.

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