A while back I replaced a bunch of my old single pane windows and thought I would be a good citizen and recycle the old glass. We have a huge container that we throw all our household recyclables into and I thought well why not just take all this glass and throw it in the recycle bin?
I called the solid waste disposal people and was told that regular window glass is not recyclable at this time and that I should just throw it in the regular trash—-it has all kinds of impurities like lead and other elements that make it unsuitable for food container glass.
I have since learned that the only recyclable glass—-unless it specifically states otherwise on the glass—-are glass containers that food stuffs come in (taking a little liberty with “food-stuffs” to included alcoholic beverage containers).
That means, dishes, water glasses, light bulbs, Pyrex, ovenware, window glass, shower stall doors, monitor/TV glass, etc are not recyclable—-at least not in the regular household recycling bin. (If you have these things to dispose of you will need to contact the solid waste handler in your area to find out what to do with them.
Check your area to see what is recyclable or not—it varies from one part of the country to the next.
Also lids and caps whether aluminum or steel that may still be attached to the glass are not recyclable and should be removed prior to disposal. Because non recyclable glass and metal components melt at different (higher) temperatures than regular recyclable glass these elements can clog up and damage the blast furnaces.
Glass that is to be recycled has to fall into one of three categories, clear, brown and green. Glass that is half one and half the other would NOT be recyclable. The biggest market for recycled glass is apparently for the clear version—mostly due to picky consumers than because of anything inherently better about clear glass.
Did you know that when they melt all this glass down and it is formed into an ingot of solid glass that this hunk of glass is called a “cullet?” Therefore a clear cullet will fetch you more money than a green cullet. You can now try to use that in a sentence—or save it for charades.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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