Glass Recycling: Disposal, Recycle, Get Rid of, Drop off

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Glass Recycling Center

Want to Recycle Your Glass Products? Let Us Handle It!

DTG Recycle has Glass Recycling Centers all over Washington State. You may also drop off your glass at our locations. Contact us for a price quote for glass recycling. We utilize advanced sorting technologies to recognize and efficiently sort materials.

Recycle your glass products today!

At DTG Recycle, we have been providing glass recycling services for 20+ years. We have recycled over 372 tons of glass from January 2023 through June 2023. From jars to clean bottles, we can turn your used glass into new glass products.

How to Prepare Glass for Recycling?

Proper disposal of glass before recycling is important to ensure the safety of those handling the glass and to prevent contamination of the recycling stream. Here are some steps to follow when disposing of glass before recycling.

  1. Rinse the glass – Rinse the glass container or item thoroughly to remove any remaining food or liquid residue. This prevents the glass from contaminating other recyclables and helps to ensure the safety of those handling the glass. 
  2. Remove caps and lids – Remove any metal caps or plastic lids from the glass container before recycling. These items need to be either recycled separately or disposed of in the trash bin.
  3. Sort by color – Separate clear, green, and brown glass containers into separate bins or collection areas. This makes it easier for recycling centers to process the glass and ensure that the resulting glass products have the desired color.

How to Dispose of Glass Properly for Recycling?

  1. Check local recycling guidelines – Check your local recycling guidelines to determine if there are any specific requirements for glass collection, disposal, and recycling in your area. Some communities require glass to be dropped off at a specific location or collected separately from other recyclables.
  2. Place in recycling bin – Once the glass has been rinsed, sorted, and prepared according to local guidelines, get rid of it by placing it in the recycling bin or drop it off at a designated recycling center. Be sure not to break the glass, as broken glass is dangerous and difficult to recycle.

What Type of Glass Can Be Recycled?

Most types of glass are recyclable including the following.

  • Glass bottles
  • Jars
  • Drinking glasses
  • Window glass
  • Mirrors
  • Tempered glass
  • Windshields
  • Other glass containers

It’s important to note that not all types of glass can be recycled together. Glass must be sorted by color, as different colors have different chemical compositions and melting points. Furthermore, remember that some types of glass cannot be recycled, including Pyrex, ceramics, crystal, and light bulbs. These materials have different chemical compositions than traditional glass and cannot be recycled in the same way. Overall, the types of glass that are recyclable depend on their chemical composition and color.

How is Glass Recycled? 

Are you curious how glass recycling is done? We’ll explain to you the step-by-step process involved in recycling glass, shedding light on the various techniques and technologies utilized to transform discarded glass into valuable resources. 

1. Collecting and Transporting

Recyclable glass is collected from households, commercial and industrial premises. Collection methods vary depending on the location and type of facility. Typically, collection is done through curbside pickup or drop-off points. The glass is transported to a recycling center. Glass is usually transported in large trucks or containers. The transport process is carefully managed to avoid breakage.

2. Inspecting and Sorting

Once the glass is collected, it is sorted based on color. Separating the glass into colors is important because different colored glass cannot be mixed together during the recycling process. Clear, brown, and green glass are the most common colors collected for recycling.

Common contaminants that are found when recycling glass include the following.

  • Non-glass materials – Non-glass materials, such as plastic caps, labels, and metal rings, are common contaminants in glasses. These materials cause problems during the recycling process and reduce the quality of the recycled glass.
  •  Food and drink residue – Glass containers that are not properly rinsed typically have leftover food or drink residue. This attracts pests and bacteria and causes issues during the recycling process.
  • Broken glass – Broken glass is difficult to handle and causes injuries to workers. Broken glass contaminates other materials during the recycling process.
  • Ceramics and other materials – Ceramic items, mirrors, and other types of glass (such as Pyrex) have different properties than traditional glass. These materials cannot be recycled with glass containers because they cause contamination and reduce the quality of the recycled glass.

3. Breaking the Glass

The number of hammers used to break glass when recycling depends on the specific recycling center and equipment being used. In some recycling centers, glass is broken using a single hammer mill. This single hammer mill consists of a rotating drum with swinging hammers that impact and shatter the glass. In other recycling companies, multiple hammer mills are used in a series to break down the glass into smaller pieces.

The size and capacity of the hammer mills used vary depending on the needs of the recycling center. Some recycling companies use smaller hammer mills for processing glass bottles and jars, while others use larger hammer mills for processing larger items such as car windshields or architectural glass.

4. Screening and Sorting

Trommel screening is a common method used in glass recycling to separate larger pieces of glass from smaller pieces and other materials. A trommel screen is a rotating cylindrical drum with perforated plates that separates materials by size.

In the glass recycling process, the trommel screen is typically used after the glass has been crushed into small pieces called cullets. The cullet is then loaded onto the trommel screen, which separates it into different sizes. The larger pieces of glass that are too big to be used in the production of new glass products are removed and sold for other purposes, such as landscaping or road construction.

Trommel screening is an effective method for separating glass from other materials, such as plastic, paper, and metal, that are mixed in with the cullet. This helps to ensure that the recycled glass is of high quality and can be used to make new glass products.

5. Heating by Using a Fluidized Bed Drier

A fluidized bed drier is a type of industrial drier that uses hot air to dry and heat materials. The fluidized bed drier is used to heat and dry the crushed glass cullet during the glass recycling process. The process starts with the cullet being loaded onto a conveyor belt and put into the fluidized bed drier. As the cullet moves through the drier, it is heated by hot air that is blown through the bed of glass particles. The hot air causes the cullet to become fluidized, allowing for even heating and drying. The fluidized bed drier is used to heat the cullet to a specific temperature, which is important for the recycling process. This temperature is typically around 1500-1600 °F (815-870 °C), which is the melting point of glass.

The size of a fluidized bed drier for glass recycling depends on three main factors. These are the amount of glass cullet being processed, the desired processing rate, and the specific equipment being used. In general, fluidized bed driers for glass recycling range in size from small laboratory-sized units to large industrial-sized units.

6. Primary Rotary Screening

Primary rotary screening is a common and effective method used in glass recycling to separate glass cullet from other materials, such as paper, plastic, and metal. Glass is typically heavier and more rigid than paper and plastic. The rotary screen is designed to filter out these lighter and more flexible materials.

7. Pulverizing

Pulverizing is a crucial step in the glass recycling process that involves crushing and grinding glass cullet into a fine powder or granules. This process is typically performed after the glass has been separated and cleaned to remove any contaminants, such as metal or plastic.

The pulverizing process involves feeding the glass cullet into a machine, such as a hammer mill, which uses rotating hammers to break the glass into small pieces. A typical hammer mill used for pulverizing glass cullet has 12-24 hammers, which are made of a durable material such as high-carbon steel or tungsten carbide.

8. Secondary Rotary Screening

Secondary rotary screening is a common method used in glass recycling to further separate glass cullets into different sizes and remove any remaining contaminants. The secondary screen is typically designed with smaller perforations or openings, allowing for finer separation of the glass cullet into different size fractions. As the drum rotates, the smaller glass particles fall through the perforations and are separated into different size fractions. These fractions are further processed or sorted to create specific size specifications for different applications.

Typical size grades for secondary rotary screening of glass cullets include the following.

  • Fine glass powder (less than 0.5 mm)
  • Small glass fragments (0.5 to 2.5 mm)
  • Medium glass fragments (2.5 to 12 mm)
  • Large glass fragments (12 to 25 mm)

9. Classifying Glass Cullets

Classifying glass cullets is an important step in the recycling process that involves separating the cullet into different grades based on its physical characteristics, such as size, color, and composition. This helps to ensure that the final product is of high quality and can be used in a variety of applications.

Listed below are the different methods used to classify glass cullets in the recycling process.

  • Optical sorting – This method uses sensors to detect and sort glass cullets based on their color and composition. The sensors identify different colors of glass and remove any contaminants.
  • Air classification – This method uses air currents to separate the glass cullet based on its size and density. The cullet is fed into a machine that blows air through it, separating the lighter and smaller particles from the larger and heavier ones.
  • Screening – This method involves passing a glass cullet through a series of screens with different-sized perforations or openings. The screens separate the cullet into different size fractions, which are further processed or sorted.
  • Magnetic separation – This method uses magnets to remove any metal contaminants from the glass cullet. The cullet is passed through a machine that uses powerful magnets to attract and remove any metal particles.

Why Recycle Glass?

Here are the reasons to recycle glass.

  • Diverts debris from landfills
  • Conserves natural resources
  • Reduces energy consumption
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
  • Supports the economy

Statistics on Glass Recycling

over 3.1 million tons of glass containers were recycled

  • In 2018, over 3.1 million tons of glass containers were recycled, resulting for a recycling rate of 31.3 %. 1
  • According to U.S. EPA, about 39.8% of wine and liquor bottles were recycled in 2018, 39.6% for beer and soft drink bottles, 33.1% for all glass food and drink containers, and 15.0% for food and other glass jars. 2

Over 372 tons of glass recycled by DTG Recycle between Jan and June 2023

372 tons are enough glass equivalent to planting 5,580 trees providing oxygen for 22,320 people over a 10-year time span.

Recycling glass can save the following...

  • For every 10% of cullet utilized in the manufacturing process, energy costs decrease by roughly 2% to 3%. 2
  • For every 6 tons of recycled container glass used in the production process, one ton of carbon dioxide is reduced. 2
  • For every ton of recycled glass, about 95% of raw materials is preserved. 2

Need a Quote? Contact Us for Glass Recycling Prices

Get a quote for your glass recycling needs, contact us today at (425) 549-4905. Our team at DTG Recycle is happy to cater to all of your glass recycling requirements. Whether you require regular glass recycling drop-offs or a one-time service, we are committed to providing our customers with affordable and personalized recycling solutions that meet their unique requirements.

Glass Recycling Drop-off Locations

DTG Recycle has Glass Recycling Centers near you.

Our Locations:

FAQs for Glass Recycling Service

Where can I recycle glass?

The majority of recycling centers and curbside pickup programs accept glass for recycling. However, it is recommended to verify the specific guidelines for recycling glass in your area with your local recycling program.

Can I make money by recycling glass?

The price of glass varies based on different factors, but selling it to recycling centers can be profitable. You may collect glass from your neighbors and sell it on a small scale. However, this could generate a substantial sum of money if you operate a sizable company that generates a lot of glass debris or if you are seeking additional disposable income.

How many times can glass be recycled?

Glass can be recycled indefinitely due to its durable nature. As a result, old bottles and jars can be repeatedly transformed into new glass containers, without reducing their quality.

Can broken glass be recycled?

Yes, broken glass is recyclable. However, it's crucial to recycle any broken glass with caution and use a reputable debris management service for the disposal job because broken glass poses a risk.

Can glass bottles be recycled?

Yes, glass bottles can be recycled. Glass bottles are one of the most commonly recycled materials. When glass bottles are recycled, they are crushed into small pieces. They are then melted down and used to make new glass bottles and other glass products.

To recycle glass bottles, they should be rinsed clean of any residue. Labels and caps should be removed. Glass bottles should be placed in a recycling bin or taken to a local recycling center. It is important to recycle glass bottles separately from other recyclable materials to avoid contamination. This ensures that the glass is recycled properly.

What materials can be made from recycled glass?

Recycled glass is used to make a variety of new products including the following.

  • New glass bottles and jars – One of the most common uses for recycled glass is to make new glass bottles and jars. The cullet is melted down and molded into new containers.
  • Fiberglass – Recycled glass is used to make fiberglass insulation, which is used to insulate homes and buildings.
  • Glassphalt – Recycled glass is used as an aggregate in asphalt to create a durable and eco-friendly paving material called glassphalt.
  • Landscaping material – Recycled glass is used as a decorative landscaping material, such as in gardens, driveways, and sidewalks.
  • Glass beads – Recycled glass is used to make glass beads, which are used in reflective paints and road markings.
  • Tile and countertops – Recycled glass is used to make tiles and countertops for use in homes and businesses.

References
1 Glass: Material-Specific Data | US EPA. Retrieved June 20, 2023, from https://www.epa.gov/

2 Glass Recycling Facts – Glass Packaging Institute. Retrieved June 20, 2023, from https://www.gpi.org/glass-recycling-facts