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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Glass recycling,Glass reuse,Glass collection,cullet

Glass recycling is the process of turning waste glass into usable products. Depending on the end use, this commonly includes separating it into different colors. Glass normally comes in a number of colors.

Glass makes up a large component of household and industrial waste due to its weight and density. The glass component in municipal waste is usually made up of bottles, broken glassware, light bulbs and other items. Glass recycling uses less energy than manufacturing glass from sand, lime and soda. Every tonne of waste glass recycled into new items saves 315 kg of carbon dioxide. Glass that is crushed and ready to be remelted is called cullet.

Glass reuse

Reuse of glass containers is preferable to recycling according to the waste hierarchy. Refillable bottles are used extensively in many European countries, Canada and until relatively recently, in the United States. In Denmark 98% of bottles are refillable and 98% of those are returned by consumers. A similarly high number is reported for beer bottles in Canada.[3] These systems are typically supported by container deposit laws and other regulations. In some developing nations like India and Brazil, the cost of new bottles often forces manufacturers to collect and refill old glass bottles for selling carbonated and other drinks.

Glass collection

Glass collection points, known as Bottle Banks are very common near shopping centers, at civic amenity sites and in local neighborhoods in the United Kingdom. The first Bottle Bank was introduced by Stanley Race CBE, then president of the Glass Manufacturers’ Federation and Ron England in Barnsley on 6 June 1977;

Bottle Banks commonly stand beside collection points for other recyclable waste like paper, metals and plastics. Local, municipal waste collectors usually have one central point for all types of waste in which large glass containers are located. There are now over 50,000 bottle banks in the United Kingdom.

Most collection points have separate bins for clear, green and amber/brown glass. Glass reprocessors require separation by colour as the different colours of glass are usually chemically incompatible. Heat-resistant glass like Pyrex or borosilicate glass should not be disposed of in the glass container as even a single piece of such material will alter the viscosity of the fluid in the furnace at remelt.

Glass recycling

752,000 tons of glass is now recycled annually in the United Kingdom. Glass is an ideal material for recycling and where it is used for new glass container manufacture it is virtually infinitely recyclable. The use of recycled glass in new containers helps save energy. It helps in brick and ceramic manufacture, and it conserves raw materials, reduces energy consumption, and reduces the volume of waste sent to landfill.

Secondary uses for recycled glass

In the United Kingdom, the waste recycling industry cannot consume all of the recycled container glass that will become available over the coming years, mainly due to the colour imbalance between that which is manufactured and that which is consumed. The UK imports much more green glass in the form of wine bottles than it uses, leading to a surplus amount for recycling.

The resulting surplus of green glass from imported bottles may be exported to producing countries, or used locally in the growing diversity of secondary end uses for recycled glass. Cory Environmental are presently shipping glass cullet from the UK to Portugal.

Secondary markets for glass recycling may include:

* Glass in ceramic sanitary ware production
* Glass as a flux agent in brick manufacture
* Glass in astroturf and related applications (e.g. top dressing, root zone) material or golf bunker sand
* Glass as water filtration media
* Glass as an abrasive

Mixed glass waste streams can also be recycled and converted into an aggregate. Mixed waste streams may be collected from materials recovery facilities or mechanical biological treatment systems. Some facilities can sort out mixed waste streams into different colours using electro-optical sorting units.

Glass Recycling in the United States
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Rates of recycling and methods of waste collection vary substantially across the United States because laws are written on the state or local level and large municipalities often have their own, unique systems. Many cities do curb-side recycling meaning that they collect household recyclable waste on a weekly or bi-weekly basis that residents set out in special containers in front of their homes.

Apartment dwellers usually use shared containers that may be collected by the city or by private recycling companies which can have their own recycling rules. In some cases, glass is specifically separated into its own container because broken glass is a hazard to the people who later manually sort the co-mingled recyclables. Sorted recyclables are later sold to companies

In 1971 the state of Oregon passed a law requiring buyers of carbonated beverages (such as beer and soda) to pay five cents per container as a deposit which would be refunded to anyone who returned the container for recycling. This law has since been copied in nine other states including New York and California. The abbreviations of states with deposit laws are printed on all qualifying bottles and cans. In states with these container deposit laws, most supermarkets automate the deposit refund process by providing machines which will count containers as they are inserted and then print credit vouchers that can be redeemed at the store for the number of containers returned. Small glass bottles (mostly beer) are broken, one-by-one, inside these deposit refund machines as the bottles are inserted. A large, wheeled hopper (very roughly 1.5m by 1.5m by 0.5m) inside the machine collects the broken glass until it can be emptied by an employee.


In 2004, Germany recycled 2,116,000 tons of glass. Nearly every city has at least one 'bottle bank' for green, brown, and white glass. Most German cities also have a 'paper bank'. Reusable bottles are very common. The bottle deposit about €0.18 (£0.12, or $0.21).

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