Glass is one of the few materials that can be recycled infinitely without losing strength, purity or quality. Creating glass consumes a lot of resources: raw material, energy, labor, transportation costs and more. Disposing of glass in landfills wastes all that time, effort and materials.
Why recycle glass?
Aside from keeping glass out of landfills, there are a number of benefits to recycling it:
- Container glass is 100% recyclable, can be recycled endlessly, and can be used to make a number of products.
- Using recycled glass produces 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than creating new glass (or fiberglass) from raw materials.
- Every ton of glass recycled saves more than one ton of raw materials. That means it doesn’t have to be mined from the earth, transported, processed, etc.
- Recycling a single glass bottle saves enough electricity to light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours.
- Recycling glass provides local businesses with material to make new products, such as fiberglass insulation or new bottles.
How does glass recycling work?
- Glass bottles and containers are taken to a Ripple Glass bin or your community recycling center.
- From there, glass is transported to processing plant, where it is decontaminated, crushed into smaller pieces, dried, separated by color, sorted and screened.
- The crushed and cleaned material — called “cullet” — is transported to companies who will use the cullet to make new products.
What products can be made from recycled glass?
The best glass for recycling is color-sorted and free of all dirt and other contaminants. This higher grade is used to make new bottles, jars, and other containers. Glass that doesn’t meet certain standards still has a number of important uses, such as an ingredient in home improvement or construction products. A few typical items made with recycled glass:
- New glass containers and bottles
- Fiberglass and fiberglass insulation
- Reflective paints and roadway products
- Tile, countertops and floors