What can be recycled?

Food and beverage containers

Why it wants to be recycled

Glass can be recycled over and over without any loss in purity or quality. For every ton of glass that is recycled, over one ton of natural resources are saved — including sand, soda ash, limestone, and feldspar. Using recycled glass cuts energy costs and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, one ton of carbon dioxide is reduced with every six tons of recycled glass used.

How to recycle it

Look for curbside, school, or work recycling bins or find a local recycling drop-off center — and be sure to check local recycling ordinances. In some states, beverage containers have a deposit refund and can be returned to the store where they were purchased. Don’t put dishware, light bulbs, heat resistant glass (Pyrex), mirror glass, window glass, crystal, or computer screen glass in your recycling bins — they can damage the furnace and cause impurities in new containers.

What does recycled glass become?

In order to be recycled, glass is collected, mixed, and then sorted by color — clear, green, and amber — at a materials recovery facility. Most glass then goes to a processor for further cleaning, sorting and crushing into “cullet.” This cullet is mixed with sand, soda ash and limestone and then heated and shaped for reuse. Glass container manufacturing companies purchase approximately 65-80% of glass containers collected through deposit refund programs — those become new containers. Recycled glass that cannot be sorted for container-end use may be used in kitchen tiles, counter tops, or wall insulation.

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