The Glass Recycling Process: Everything You Need To Know 

Glass recycling or repurposing is the process of transforming waste glass into every day, usable items. This process can be done time and time again as glass doesn’t degrade, meaning it is incredibly environmentally friendly and efficient. Whilst there are some glass products that aren’t recyclable, most everyday household glass items can be. As a business, there are many ways you can manage your glass waste efficiently. 

The process of recycling glass is much simpler than other forms of recycling, but specialist waste recycling equipment is still needed. We’ve broken down the process into simple stages so you can get a better idea of what goes on when you pop that glass bottle in your recycling bin!


Once you’ve done your recycling at home, at work or taken your waste glass to a bottle bank, the bins are collected and taken to a local recycling plant. From there on, the glass items are separated from the rest and transported to a glass treatment plant. 


Once the plant has its waste glass items, each item undergoes a pre-treatment process to get rid of any impurities. It is washed thoroughly, any labels or plastic on it is removed with blown air and magnets are used for any metal objects. This is a crucial step so that the glass can be recycled safely and hygienically. 


Waste glass items are then sorted by colour. It is important to keep coloured glass separate as every colour has added raw materials to it. For example, iron is added to make brown or green glass and cobalt is used for blue glass. It means that these can be recycled to make more of the same, rather than mix it with clear glass items and be unusable. At this point in the process, the glass is often washed again.


The penultimate step is the breakdown of the glass. It is crushed and melted down in a furnace before being moulded into new products. It is important to crush and heat the glass before it is remoulded into something new. 

New Products Sold

These items are sent back to shops and businesses as new products before the process starts all over again. Glass does not degrade during the recycling process, so it is able to be recycled forever more!

Items That Can’t Be Recycled

Some types of glass, such as Pyrex, mirrors and light bulbs, cannot be recycled. Do not put these into your regular bins. Take them to your local recycling plant, where they will be disposed of properly in picking stations.

As you can see, the process with specialist waste management recycling machines has been innovated in order to maximise our sustainability. Because it’s one of the easiest items to recycle and can be recycled as many times as possible, it’s something that every person and business should be paying attention to. If you’re in the market for used recycling equipment for glass, get in touch today and we can use our expertise to get the right waste machine for you.