Following on from paper and cardboard recycling, let’s take a look at the method for recycling glass.
Just to clarify, by glass we are referring to food and beverage glass containers – i.e. clear, brown or green bottles (for example beer, wine, juice, soft drink) and glass jars. Please note that glass from drinking glasses, windows, mirrors and crockery (such as pyrex) cannot be recycled in the same manner so please do not place these in with your mixed recycling.
Process for recycling glass:
Firstly the load of mixed recycling reaches the materials recovery facility (MRF) and is separated into the various waste streams.
- The glass is separated into colours (clear, brown and green)
- The glass is crushed and this product is called ‘cullet’.
- The cullet is then transported to the glass manufacturer to make new products.
- The glass manufacturer will melt the cullet in a furnace (with some additional raw materials) and the melted glass is then tipped into moulds to make new jars, bottles and containers. Recycled glass can also be used as building aggregate, in water filtration, building materials and in some cases to form part of a road base.
Glass can be recycled endlessly (without loss of quality) in this manner. Making new glass from cullet actually saves energy as recycled glass melts at a lower temperature than the virgin raw material.