Glass Recycling

Why it’s important to recycle glass

Recycling is important for many reasons. It preserves our resources, reduces pollution, helps companies and consumers save money, and reduces landfill waste. 

Disposing of recyclables represents a duplication of efforts. For example, when glass containers are thrown away as trash, those items must be made again from scratch. 

Overlooking opportunities for glass recycling and reuse puts a strain on glass manufacturers, ultimately leaving fewer resources for other purposes. When crushed into cullet and recycled, glass can easily be reused or repurposed for a new product.

Tips and best practices for recycling glass at home

A single household can generate several tons of waste every year, and it’s more important than ever before for homeowners to make recycling a part of the everyday routine. 

Rumpke’s single-stream recycling programs in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky make it easier to mix recyclables in the same curbside bin, but it is important to understand that there are many types of glass that cannot be recycled. While glass can be melted repeatedly, contaminants in non-recyclable glass can disrupt the process. 

To maximize recycling efforts, focus on recycling clean glass containers and glass bottles above all else. Avoid recycling broken glass. If you are unsure if your glass can be recycled, isolate it from the recycling bin and reach out to Rumpke to help you determine what’s best.

Residential and commercial options for recycling glass

Homeowners in most municipalities are eligible for residential recycling pickup, but can also bring materials to a designated drop-off location in their community. 

Commercial recycling starts with an audit of your business so our teams can help you determine what type of glass collection you need and help identify the right-size recycling containers. Many office recycling situations benefit from small containers, while others require a close partnership with a local material recovery facility, and a comprehensive waste management plan. 

FAQ—Glass recycling

Can glass be recycled?

Yes, but there are many limitations to consider. Container glass, including jars, liquor bottles, and soda bottles are most easily recycled to make new glass containers. 

That said, there are many other types of glass known as non-container glass, safety glass, or “treated glass,” that are treated to be more durable. These glass products, such as used in Pyrex or other cookware pieces, feature chemicals that increase the melting point. If non-recyclable glass were to be recycled with glass bottles, the non-recyclable glass wouldn’t melt. When this happens, it can contaminate the entire batch.

Though it may seem that many types of glass are not recyclable, tons of glass are reused every year. Recycling facilities like ours make every effort to reduce waste and increase sustainability to improve communities. If you have any questions about acceptable items for recycling, please contact our team.

Can I put glass in my recycling bin?

Yes, recyclable glass can go directly into the container bin. Rumpke uses "Single-Stream" processing so that materials don’t need to be separated into different bins for pickup. Just be sure to rinse the glass containers to reduce chances of food getting mixed into the stream. 

What’s the best way to recycle glass?

Make it easier to maximize your recycling efforts by signing up for service with Rumpke. Our single-stream recycling programs focus on all recyclable materials—glass recycling, plastic recycling, and more—not just individual pre-sorted materials. If you use recyclable glass containers, our comprehensive approach will help you divert materials from landfills. 

In addition to curbside collection, many communities have public recycling drop-off locations to make recycling easier for residents.

Do I have to sort glass by color?

It’s not necessary to sort your glass by color. Our recycling technology will help do that for you.

Can I recycle broken glass?

We’d ask that you don’t recycle broken glass as it presents a safety hazard to our facility employees. Broken glass pieces are also typically too small to make it through our processing line and end up falling through our screening system with other non-recyclables. 

What glass cannot be recycled?

  • Any glass mixed with other materials, such as decorative leaded glass

  • Mixed-color glass

  • Dirty containers with unrinsed food waste

  • Ceramics, Pyrex and other types of heat-resistant glass

  • Window glass and mirrors

  • Crystal

  • LED and halogen light bulbs

  • Computer or television screens

Let Rumpke take care of your recycling needs

Rumpke is dedicated to innovative recycling technology for the convenience of its customers and betterment of its communities. Whether you’re a homeowner or running a commercial business, we would be happy to help you understand your options, learn about curbside guidelines, and find a recycling program that meets your needs. 

In addition to recycling services, we’re also equipped to handle regular garbage pickup and much more including yard waste, bulk trash pickup, and dumpsters. 

If you have any questions about the recycling center or are ready to request service in your municipality, please fill out our service request form and our team will be in touch to help you take next steps.