Everything You Need to Know about the Process of Recycling Glass and Why We Do It
The recycling process of glass is a huge factor in the modern world we live in today, it is a way that has been specially designed to help us combat global warming and climate change and the effects it has on both mankind and our environment. However, while saying this there are still many questions that remain about the hidden secrets behind glass recycling and what happens to recycled glass that we so carefully separate out of our waste products. With new information and techniques for a better world circulating daily, we are slowly beginning to understand the process by which we are su[ppposed to follow. In the following article, I will be answering all of your glass recycling process questions in an attempt to help guide you through everything from how to recycle to where that recycled glass actually goes.
Why Should We Recycle Glass?
The recycling of glass is extremely important for keeping the state of our environment in good and healthy condition. There are many reasons as to why it is important to recycle glass and how it can have an impact on the amount of waste produced by our landfills each year. Typically glass bottle recycling is the most well-known and the most popular, for the one main reason being that it is convenient and easily achievable. Some other reasons why we should recycle glass include :
Saves Landfill Space
Landfills can easily become overwhelmed by waste products and then often land up overflowing in our water sources and eventually into our oceans, however illuminating the elements of glass being dumped in such landfills allows more space to free up for additional waste and avoids overcrowding issues.
Reduces Carbon Footprint
Recycling glass massive;y reduces our carbon footprint as this recycled glass is then turned into other glass products eliminating the carbon emissions by 670kg for every ton of glass recycled.
Glass bottle disposal and recycling save a huge amount of energy, just one recycled glass bottle saves enough energy to power on a light bulb for up to seven hours straight.
How Is Glass Recycled?
So we understand why we need to recycle glass and how it can benefit our environment and the future of our planet but what about how the process works, where to recycle glass, and how you can do it yourself. Can you recycle glass? Well, the answer is yes, it doesn’t matter if where you live or if your area does or does not cater for recycling, everyone on this planet can recycle their glass, and here’s how. In simple terms, the process of recycling glass starts off when the consumer throws such glass into specific bins set out for glass recycling. Once the glass has been thrown into the bin, it is collected and taken to a glass treatment plant in the location closest to its disposal. From there the glass is sorted by color and is washed thoroughly to remove any contamination.
Once the glass is cleaned it is then crushed and melted and finally molded into new shapes that eventually form new glass products such as jars and bottles. The glass is then sent back to stores and the process is repeated all over again. That is the basic process of how to recycling glass. Now that you understand the process of recycling glass a little better I can begin to answer some of the most asked questions relating to the personal recycling process, to ensure you follow the steps correctly the whole way through.
Can You Recycle Glass Bottles?
Yes, all glass bottles and or jars of any shape, size, and color can be recycled.
Can You Recycle Broken Glass?
Yes, broken glass is welcomed in the recycling industry, as the glass will eventually be broken down in any event.
Recycling Glass for Money?
One of the many benefits of recycling glass is that it can actually provide an income for many people. Many grocery stores especially throughout the United States and Europe provides recycling systems for glass bottles that actually give you a certain amount of money for each bottle recycled. This is amazing for low-income people who can, through recycling afford to buy their groceries.
How Many Times Can Glass Be Recycled?
Because glass is one hundred percent recyclable, it can go through the process infinite times without any wear or tear on the product produced.
Glass Recycling Problems
Whilst there are many pros and benefits of recycling glass, just like most things in this world there is a bad side and various disadvantages too. Glass recycling problems mainly come from the glass waste produced through the process that has been said to have some harsh and unwanted effects, but why is recycling bad? To answer these questions let’s take a look at a few of the cons and disadvantages that recycling glass brings along.
Not All Glass Can Be Recycled
One thing about glass recycling is that there are actually a few types of glass for example light bulbs and window panes that cannot actually be put into the recycling bins as they carry impurities that can contaminate other glass products and create more waste.
Creation of Unemployment
One of the hidden secrets behind the glass recycling companies is that it actually makes a significant difference within the glass manufacturing industry and has already created large amounts of job loss throughout the industry. As fewer people are needed to work in the manufacturing process and very few jobs available in the recycling process, an overall large amount of unemployment is created.
Another disadvantage of glass recycling is that for the process to happen correctly each item needs to be manually separated by color, this is a very tedious and labor-intensive process that requires a lot of time and effort and of course a high cost.
Waste Management Glass Recycling Process
One of the major disadvantages of glass, recycling is the waste management associated with it, which in some cases have caused more harm than good, and here’s how and why. One of the biggest issues with recycling is that waste products other than glass can not be contaminated otherwise the glass is no longer recyclable and that is why it is of the utmost importance that food, plastics, home products, and any none glass objects should be thrown in a separate bin to that of any of your glass items.
Waste management is set up in order to avoid any entanglement between products but only works if the rules are one hundred percent adhered to. For example, when recycling glass, only food or beverage glass containers are excepted, they should have no remanence of prior products and should remain in a separate bin than all other household trash. Some other rules stated by waste management include :
- Recyclables should not be put into plastic bags
- They should have separate bins per product ie: plastic, paper, glass
- Food and liquid must be kept out of your recycling
- See your local program guidelines for direction on where to dispose of your recyclable glass products.
Rules about the disposal of recyclable products vary in different countries and regions in those countries, some prefer to use curbside pickup and in others, there are locations in the area where one can drop off their recycling.
Frequently Asked Questions about Glass Recycling
By now you should have a pretty good idea of what glass recycling is and what the process entails, however, to further your knowledge even more, here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions around glass recycling.
Is Glass Recyclable?
If you didn’t catch it by now, glass products, not all are most definitely recyclable and can be disposed of in a recycling bin dedicated to glass products. Products such as glass bottles and food jars are accepted in the recycling, however, household appliances are not.
Does Glass Biodegrade?
One of the biggest questions is “does glass decompose?” glass bottles can decompose however this process takes up to a million years per bottle.
What Are the Glass Recycling Rates?
Glass recycling rates vary from company to company however the global average recycling rate which is 32 percent for container glass and a measly 11 percent for flat glass.
What Is the Environmental Impact of Glass?
As we probably all know but don’t always realize, glass actually has some negative impacts on the environment, hence the reason we need to recycle it. Glass will not harm the environment or human health through chemicals such as what is found in coal and oil, however, it will harm the planet by taking up space because of its non-biodegradble nature.
From this article, you can see how much goes behind the production and recycling of glass products. We must remember to carry out our recycling duties as per the government guidelines and not through what we think is right into our nearest recycling bins as this completely ruins any plan to reuse a product. Even the smallest changes such as collecting all glass bottles and recycling your accumulation each month can really help make a difference to the planet, our future, and the future of the next generation. We need to act now in order to see a difference in the near future, and those actions start at home and then by educating others on all that we have learned
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