How to Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle

Did You Know?

Glass, one of the most energy intensive items to make, is found in many households in different forms such as wine bottles, plates, cups, and vases. Glass takes an indefinite time to decompose, meaning it will be in the environment for longer than we know. So instead of throwing away glass, we can put it to better use. Glass food and beverage containers can be recycled over and over again. Americans generated 11.5 million tons of glass in 2013, about 27 percent of which was recovered for recycling. Making new glass from recycled glass is typically cheaper than using raw materials.
Over 10 states from the US allow residents to redeem glass containers for money. Unfortunately, Texas is not one of those states with Bottle Bills. In addition, other household glass cannot be recycled with food containers. It must be separated because of potential contaminants.



We always remember the time when a careless student (or teacher) drops a flask or cylinder and the glass material shatters. Oh no! What do we do?

Ways to Reuse Glass That Can't Be Recycled

Unfortunately, not all forms of glass are accepted at the recycling center for various reasons. The most coveted type is clear glass and mixed-color glass is not as valuable and broken glass is too difficult to sort.
When sorting your garbage, keep in mind that the following can't be recycled:
1. Broken Glass
2. Window Glass
3. Laboratory Glass
4. Glassware
5. Ceramics
6. Mirrors
7. Light bulbs- exceptions of fluorescent ones.
8. Frosted glass

For broken glass, it’s wise to handle it with caution and use rubber gloves. If you’re going to throw it away, make sure to wrap it in newspaper or old shirts or towels and seal the contents in a plastic or paper bag.

An alternative option is to try and reuse this trash and turn it into treasure. One inexpensive way to make broken glass reusable is to put it into an old-fashioned rock tumbler— you may remember these from your youth. This process can take a while, but it produces frosted glass as well as clear, smooth glass that can be handled. Then you can incorporate the smooth-edged glass in wall, floor or table mosaics , or try designing glass sculptures and candle holders. By reusing your leftover paint, the glass can be any color you like.

DIY Projects might not be for you, so you can collect any non-recyclable glass and find a local artist or glass blower who can reuse it more effectively. These types of glass may be unwanted and challenging to handle, but you can reclaim their potential by turning the broken pieces into beautiful décor and artwork.