How Is Glass Recycled ?
Nearly 130 million tons of glass are produced each year globally. And around 30% of this glass goes to waste every year. From cutting glass into shape all the way to sanding the edges, making different shapes out of the sheets, and more, several processes create glass waste.
If not recycled, it can potentially devastate the industry and the world. Since 2018, around 21% of glass waste has been recycled and put into use by the industry again. This, in turn, not only drives the prices down but also ensures that the hardened silicone does not contaminate landfills.
In this article, we will take a closer look at how glass is recycled, what the considerations are for recycling it properly, and the benefits it offers for organizations – financially and for sustainability.
How Is Glass Recycled – A Peek at The Recycling Process
When it comes to recycling glass, there are two main types of glass that are recycled – metal and plastic. Metal is used in the production of window panes, while plastic can be used for creating any type of container or product.
The process begins with sorting the recyclable material from non-recyclables after collecting it from various sources such as curbside bins, commercial waste streams, and more. Next, it is sent to a plant, where it undergoes multiple stages of cleaning before being separated into its respective categories – metals, plastics, and glass.
Once the glass is properly sorted, it is crushed into very small pieces to ensure no larger chunks are left behind. The pieces then go through a furnace which melts the glass at temperatures of up to 1200°F.
The molten glass is poured into molds or mixed with other raw materials to create different types of products, such as countertops, vases, and more. The recycled glass can also be used to manufacture new bottles and containers, which are made from around 70% recycled material.
The items are then packaged and ready to be sold in stores or distributed back into the recycling stream.
This process helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and saves tons of energy that would otherwise go toward creating materials from scratch. Thus, it can be seen that recycling glass reduces both environmental impacts and economic costs associated with waste disposal and production.
Considerations For Recycling Glass Properly
When recycling glass, it is important to consider the quality of the material. To guarantee good results, the recycled glass has to be free from any contaminants like metal or plastic that could potentially impair its durability in the end product.
Therefore, it is essential for organizations to ensure that they are obtaining their materials from reliable sources and taking all necessary measures to sort them properly before sending them for recycling.
Another factor that needs attention before attempting to recycle glass is creating awareness among employees about proper disposal practices so as to eliminate items such as ceramics, Pyrex, and window panes – none of which can be recycled with other types of waste glass.
There are also a number of hazardous gasses being emitted during the recycling process. This is because the glass needs to be melted down and re-hardened, which can harm the environment. Therefore, it is important for organizations to make sure that they are using recycling methods that minimize emissions and reduce the risk of environmental damage.
Benefits of Recycling Glass
Apart from the obvious environmental benefits, there are also a number of financial advantages associated with glass recycling.
● Since recycled glass is cheaper than producing new glass, businesses can save money by utilizing this resource instead.
● Businesses can also benefit from tax credits if they use glass in their products instead of buying raw materials from manufacturers.
● When companies can recycle their own waste and turn it into something useful, it helps them demonstrate their commitment towards sustainability which in turn positively affects their reputation in the marketplace. It sends a positive message about their values and corporate responsibility.
● Recycling glass also helps reduce dependence on fossil fuels as less energy is required to melt down and shape the recycled material.
It is important to note that recycled glass isn't that different from new glass – it may have slightly different properties and colors, but the end result is virtually indistinguishable. This makes it easier for businesses to find ways to incorporate recycled glass into their production processes.
As the process of recycling glass is adopted more and more across the globe, the methods are also expected to continue improving. Creating new glass is a much costlier process – financially and environmentally – than recycling it. So, as recycling becomes the go-to method for businesses, it will eventually have the positive impact we all expect and lead to a more sustainable environment for all!
In conclusion, recycling glass can help organizations save money, reduce environmental impacts and even improve their public image. As long as they are properly sorting materials and using safe practices, businesses can maximize the benefits associated with this process.
Through a careful process of sorting, cleaning, crushing, and melting the material into usable forms, glass can be recycled and turned into a whole new product. Additionally, it is important for companies to ensure that recycled glass is free from contaminants and that hazardous gasses are minimized during the recycling process so that maximum benefits can be reaped.
To learn more about how you can do your part in creating a better world and making your business more sustainable, get in touch with RECAPP. We are a premier and trusted recycling company dedicated to helping you to recycle your metals, plastic, electronics, and a range of other materials!