I am an eco-friendly gal from the word “go.” Although no one really understood my abhorrence of throwing anything away when I was little, I couldn’t bear the thought of parting with anything, no matter what the condition. My formative years were spent on a farm in rural Minnesota, and the property actually had a pit where former owners of the property would throw their garbage. Much to my parents’ dismay, my sisters and I spent many a summer day “saving” treasures from that garbage pit. Fast-forward to today. I still pause at the garbage every time I throw something away and ask myself if it could be reused or recycled. For example, my current municipal recycling program doesn’t take paperboard (cereal boxes, etc.) but I know my sister’s recycling program does accept it. So, I save them for her to recycle or for my daughters to make crafts, like our recent fairy houses. I compost all our compostable produce, paper towels, toilet paper rings, coffee filters, tea bags and so on. I reuse and recycle everything possible. That said, I’m a little fuzzy on glass. Since glass is recycled again and again, why can’t I put my broken Pyrex bowl in the recycling bin? Or my burned-out light bulbs? What happens to broken windows or mirrors? The Town of Concord, MA’s website explains that drinking glasses, glass dishes and bowls, Pyrex dishes, window panes, ceramics, etc. are made with a different combination of materials than glass bottles and jars, and cannot be sent to a facility that manufactures bottles and jars. Pyrex can’t be recycled because it can explode when heated up in the glass recycling furnace. Bottles and jars are the only types of glass accepted in most recycling programs. Check with your local municipality to see if they have any exceptions. If your other glass is broken, wrap it in paper (to protect the garbage collector) and place it in your garbage. Frosted glass, plate glass, Pyrex, mirrors and ceramics should not be placed in the glass bins. These are very serious contaminants and can cause the whole load of glass to be rejected. Finally, you must recycle your compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, so it’s necessary to dispose of them responsibly. In my town, I can either take my used CFLs to our household hazardous waste facility or our local Home Depot. Use 1-800-RECYCLING’s easy recycling location search to find where to recycle CFLs in your area. I’m now clearer on glass recycling and I hope you are, too.
Differentiating Between Types of Glass
Knowing which types of glass are recyclable is half the work necessary to make sure products are reborn.