Glass Recycling | What Happens to All That Recycled Glass

September 17, 2016

Have you ever wondered what the oldest item is in your home? Chances are it’s something made of glass. With all this glass recycling going on, you more than likely have something in your home made from 100-year-old glass, or perhaps even a thousand-year-old glass. In fact, the glass we use today is pretty much made from the same material that was used by the Egyptians three thousand years ago. They used the same basic ingredients including sand to make jewelry and drinking cups.

The Glass Recycling Process

So what do they do will all that recycled glass and how is it processed?

Collection: The first step of course is the collection of glass from both residential homes and industrial plants. In the case of home recycling, it is a common practice in most neighborhoods these days to rinse your glass items and place them curbside in a designated container. The container of glass recyclables is then transported to a glass recycling center.

Sorting: The first step of the sorting process to screen the material to remove any corks, metal or other foreign debris. Then the bottles are manually sorted by color, as each color has its own specific use. For example, you won’t use glass from brown beer bottles to make clear pickle jars.

Crushing: The glass is then crushed into fine particles known as a cullet. The cullet is then mixed with other raw materials including Sand, Sodium Carbonate, and Calcium Carbonate.

Melting the Mixture: The raw material mixture is then melted using a high temperature furnace, at temperatures exceeding 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Molding into Shape: The molten glass is then poured into molds to take on its new shape. The finished product is then used to ship your next case of beer or bottle of beets that you will find on the shelves of your local grocery store.

Other Uses: Not all glass recycling is used to produce new bottles and jars. A large portion of recycled glass is used as a raw material in other applications. Some examples include glass aggregate which is added to road paving materials or it may be used in sandblasting operations as a safer alternative to silica sand.

The Smashing Story of Glass Recycling

Contact Us:

If you have questions about replacing your home windows and sending your old windows to the glass recycling center; Contact One Source Renovation, LLC at or give us a call at (815)-634-8922.