Can I Recycle Broken Glass, Wine Glasses, Drinking Glasses, Window Panes?

By Liesl Clark

Kitty Broke The Wine Glass

We’ve broken a couple of wine glasses lately and although I knew our recycling facility in our home town won’t take glass from wine or drinking glasses, I thought I’d look up the reasons why. According to Washington State’s Department of Ecology: “The combination of ingredients used to make glassware is different from what goes into container glass for bottles and jars. If these two types of glass are recycled together, the resulting glass will not be suitable for container glass. In fact, glassware, ceramics, window panes, or mirrors can pose a threat to equipment in a glass recycling plant.”

So that’s our answer and likely the answer for all glass recycling facilities. We don’t want to contaminate the glass used for containing food. But if you break your mason or mayo jar, you can still put it in your glass recycling. It’s the material that counts, not whether it’s broken.

Will anyone else take your broken drinking glasses? If they’re made of pretty colors, you might try a local potter or ceramics artist as glass mixed in with other glazes can make pretty colors in a firing.

Have windows that you want to recycle? Try your nearest Habitat for Humanity Store or save them and turn to our Trash Backwards app for window reuse inspirations:

Just a Few Window Reuses at App.Trashbackwards.com

Reuse It!

• If you have a tumbler hanging around, save your broken glass to make your own tumbled sea glass.

Recycle This in the UK has some interesting reuse ideas, like using your broken glass under your wood shed to deter rats!

• Take the stem of your broken wine glass and glue it to the bottom of a teacup for a pretty teacup wine glass.

• If your wine glass only has a chip or crack in it, or if it’s etched from your dishwasher, you can transform it into an adorable tea candle lamp. And if your kitty breaks enough of your wine glasses, then you can make a whole set of ’em.

What do you do with your broken glass? Send us your comments below or if you have a great solution you’d like to include in our app, please submit it through our contributor’s page.

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Categories: DIY, Recycle, Repurpose and Reuse, Trash Pile - All Our Stuff, Upcycle

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3 Comments on “Can I Recycle Broken Glass, Wine Glasses, Drinking Glasses, Window Panes?”

  1. November 19, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    There are some places that take glass for the construction industry. They glass is broken down and substituted for gravel or sand. Here is some more information: http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/cm/solidwaste/orgs.asp?id=125

    • Liesl Clark
      November 19, 2012 at 8:48 am #

      Hi Brian:
      Thanks for your input! This is helpful for those reading from Thurston county, and others could look up local concrete recyclers to see if they’ll take broken glass. I love your site at Thurston County. Might you be interested in adding all of Thurston County to our Trash Backwards Web and mobile app for citizens to use for more reduce, reuse, recycle ideas? We’d love to add you in and the process is quite simple, especially since you also have your database of “What do I do with?” materials. We’ve partnered with King County and are importing their materials at the moment and would love to do the same with Thurston County! Drop me a line at clarkliesl@mac.com if you’d like to discuss this further.
      All my best,
      Liesl at Trash Backwards

  2. November 20, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    It’s so important to remember that just because it’s glass doesn’t mean it’s all the same. Great article. Thanks!

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