When you think of packing up items and taking them to the recycling center, you’re probably picturing copper, cardboard boxes, and soda cans. You’re forgetting a really big one- glass! Very few materials can be recycled over and over again with little to no effect on their strength, quality, or integrity. However, this can be said about glass. That makes glass recycling incredibly important!

Learn a Bit About Glass Recycling

Glass is everywhere in our modern society. Wherever you are right now, you’re probably not far from something made of glass. According to the EPA, Americans generated 12.5 million tons of glass waste in 2018, but only about 3 million tons of that glass was recycled. That accounts for about 25% of the total waste.

That number could easily be higher! Glass is 100 percent recyclable. This material can be recycled several times over. In fact, 90 percent of recycled glass is used to make new glass containers.

What if the Glass is Broken?

Containers, often bottles, used for food, soda, beer, wine, and liquor represent the largest source of glass waste. If you asked people one single fact they know about glass, many of them would say it is fragile or easily broken. This leads us to our main question, can you take glass in for bottles recycling if it is broken?

Broken glass can be recycled, but it might not be recycled to its previous state. What this means is that if you recycle a broken bottle, the resulting glass will likely not be made into a new glass bottle. That glass could still be used as an additive in fiberglass or kitchen tile, so it’s not totally useless. We encourage you to wrap the fragments in paper and seal them tight if you use plastic bags. This way, no one will accidentally get hurt. 

It’s best to maintain the integrity of the glass as much as possible. This gives the recycling center options as to how the glass is repurposed. Of course, it’s also a lot safer for you and the handler to avoid handling broken glass. That being said, just because glass is broken doesn’t mean it needs to sit in a landfill.

Recycle Glass at OC Recycling

Pegasus-Sustainability CEO Mark Hope said, “Glass is one of the easiest waste products to recycle. It’s also one of the most important.” We completely agree!

OC Recycling is your Orange County resource for glass bottle recycling. Not all glass is the same. We do not handle glass other than bottle glass, meaning mirrors, lightbulbs, windows, or decorative items. If you have glass bottles, even if they’re broken, bring them to us!