What are the benefits of glass recycling?
One of the biggest waste streams produced by businesses in the UK is glass waste. However, it is often thrown in the general waste bin and sent to landfill. For example, 200,000 tonnes of glass waste got sent to landfill last year within the hospitality industry alone. These are extremely high figures, especially when considering that most glass is 100% recyclable and can be endlessly reused. But which types of glass can be recycled and what are the benefits of recycling it?
Can all glass be recycled?
There are various types and colours of glass that may require different recycling processes. In your glass recycling bin, you can recycle bottles and jars of any colour. For example, glass bottles used for drinks or sauces, and jars that hold food and condiments are all accepted. You can also recycle glass containers that are used for cosmetics, perfumes, and pharmaceutical packaging. In order to be able to properly dispose of the glass, you need to separate the tops from the jars or bottles and rinse all of the containers out before putting them in the bin.
Unfortunately, not all glass can be recycled using your glass recycling bin and it’s important to avoid throwing these items in with your other bottles and containers. This is due to the fact that they may damage the equipment at the facility or contaminate the entire collection of glass. This includes glass cookware such as heatproof jugs and microwave turntables as well as light bulbs, as these items are made from heatproof glass and may not melt properly. You also can’t put window glass and mirrors in your glass recycling bin due to the coating on the items requiring different treatment. These items can still be recycled but are instead used to make building materials such as eco-cement and concrete.
How is glass recycled?
Firstly, the glass is placed into a glass recycling bin, and once collected it is taken to a recycling facility. At the facility, the glass is colour sorted by a machine which then crushes and treats the glass to remove any pollutants such as paper and plastic. Once the glass is back to its pure form it is then melted in a furnace. Once this process has taken place, the material is known as glass cullet which is used to create a range of products from new bottles and jars to home glass wool insulation.
Why is it important to recycle glass?
It is beneficial for the environment
Glass containers made from recycled glass require considerably less energy than if you were to use virgin materials. For example, you can save enough energy to power a television for an hour and a half by recycling just one glass. This is because lower temperatures are required to melt recycled glass and thus, the process uses less energy.
Recycling glass also reduces the amount of greenhouse gasses that are produced and released into the atmosphere. Currently, the glass that we recycle reduces air pollution by 20% and water pollution by 50% compared to using virgin materials.
Finally, recycling glass waste reduces the amount of rubbish that ends up in landfill. This means that less space is required for landfill sites and thus, fewer natural habitats are destroyed. This will help to increase the earth’s biodiversity and avoid species extinction.
It is cost-effective for your business
Commercial glass recycling can also save your business money. This is due to the fact that landfill tax is currently £86.10 per tonne which is due to increase each year. Due to the high costs of sending waste to landfill it is a lot cheaper to recycle your glass waste. You may also see an increase in sales and profit as customers value businesses that are seen to be moving towards sustainable management techniques.
Looking for glass recycling companies? Contact us to discuss the sustainable and cost-effective glass recycling services that we can provide. From glass bottles to lightbulbs, we can handle any type of glass waste. We can also provide a single bin for all types of glass so you don’t have to worry about separating it into different containers.