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Recycle Well: Glass Recycling Intro Photo

Sep 18

Recycle Well: Glass Recycling

In this edition of the Dick’s Sanitation, Inc. blog, we would like to give you some facts about the glass you put into your single sort recycling bin.

  • Glass bottles and jars are 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without any loss in purity or quality.
  • The container and fiberglass industries collectively purchase 3 million tons of recycled glass annually, which is remolded and repurposed for use in the production of new containers and fiberglass products.
  • Over a ton of natural resources are saved for every ton of glass recycled.
  • Energy costs drop about 2-3% for every 10% cullet used in the manufacturing process.
  • One ton of carbon dioxide is reduced for every six tons of recycled container glass used in the manufacturing process.
  • There are 46 glass manufacturing plants operating in 22 states.  16 companies operate 51 glass beneficiating facilities (aka "glass processing" plants) in 27 states.
  • At the glass processing plants, recycled glass is further cleaned and sorted to spec, then resold to the glass container manufacturing companies for remolding into new food and beverage containers.
  • In 2013, 41.3% of beer and soft drink bottles were recovered for recycling, according to the U.S. EPA. Another 34.5% of wine and liquor bottles and 15% of food and other glass jars were recycled. In total, 34% of all glass containers were recycled, equivalent to taking 210,000 cars off the road each year.
  • About 18% of beverages are consumed on premise, like a bar, restaurant, or hotel. And glass makes up to about 80% of that container mix.
  • Glass bottles have been reduced in weight approximately 40% over the past 30 years.
  • Recycled glass is substituted for up to 95% of raw materials.
  • Manufacturers benefit from recycling in several ways—it reduces emissions and consumption of raw materials, extends the life of plant equipment, such as furnaces, and saves energy.
  • An estimated 80% of all glass containers recovered for recycling are re-melted in furnaces, and used in the manufacture of new glass containers.  Source, Strategic Materials, Inc.