5 Essential Tips for Responsible Commercial & Industrial Glass Recycling

Glass is an important material used in various everyday materials. Whether it is bottles clinking in celebration, windows gleaming in an office building, lab beakers filled with colorful solutions – it’s everywhere! But where does it all go after its useful life? For responsible businesses and industries, the answer shouldn’t be landfills. But unlike tossing a glass bottle at home, commercial and industrial glass recycling requires a bit more finesse. We’ve got you covered with tips to smash your glass recycling goals. 

Tips for Glass Recycling

woman sorting recyclables inside green rectangular containers

Separate & Organize

Separating and organizing glass for recycling can improve its value and reduce contamination. Many facilities accept mixed-color glass, but separating it into clear, green, and brown can warrant higher prices. This can be achieved by investing in color-coded bins or designating specific areas for each type. 

It’s also important to avoid contamination. Glass doesn’t mix well with food residue, metal lids, and non-glass items like ceramics, which can spoil entire batches. To ensure proper sorting, training for staff and straightforward signage at disposal points are essential.

Think About ALL Glass Products

When recycling glass products, don’t limit yourself to only certain items (unless your facility specifically states so). Broken window panes, jars, and even Pyrex dishes can be included in the recycling mix. It’s important, however, to avoid mirrors, tempered glass, and items with lead paint. 

Furthermore, consider industrial settings where specialized glassware is used. Always verify with your waste hauler if they can accommodate specific types of glass like borosilicate or medical vials. Some companies even provide dedicated bins or pick-up services for these materials.

Beware of Broken Glass

While broken glass can be repurposed, it’s unlikely to be restored to its original form. For instance, a recycled broken bottle might not be transformed back into a glass bottle. However, this recycled glass could be used in fiberglass or tiles. It’s recommended to keep the recycled glass as intact as possible for the best recycling outcomes. Additionally, avoiding broken glass helps ensure the safety of those handling it.

Educate Your Staff

Staff education is crucial to successful glass recycling efforts. Interactive training sessions, posters, and even friendly competitions can be used to inform staff about the importance of glass recycling. The more they understand the importance and benefits of recycling, the more likely they are to participate effectively. 

Additionally, consulting with waste haulers can provide specific guidelines and best practices, as well as potential financial benefits like rebates or tax credits for responsible waste management, which can further motivate staff to engage in recycling efforts.

Keep Things Clean

Recycling facilities often recommend cleaning your glass items before recycling. Residues like sugar can make the glass sticky and attract insects. This applies to all glass containers, especially those used for food and drinks. Although the recycling process usually includes a cleaning step, pre-cleaning your glass items ensures a smoother recycling process.

After Recycling

empty glass bottles with their labels removed all set for recycling

Recycling doesn’t end at the bin – it’s just the beginning. Consider engaging in closed-loop recycling and inquire with your waste collection agency if they offer this service. This process transforms your recycled glass into new items, such as office equipment or construction materials. At AllSource Environmental, we understand industrial waste needs. We offer various waste management and transportation services that can benefit you tremendously. 

Furthermore, take an active role in advocating for environmental responsibility. Encourage local authorities to enhance glass recycling facilities and back policies that reward sustainable waste handling. Your voice can help shape a more eco-friendly future.

Get in touch today to see how we can help!