If you’re lucky enough to live in a community with a fantastic recycling program, you don’t have to do much with your glass bottles. Simply put them in the recycling container and they’ll get sorted at a centralized facility. I’m not one of the lucky ones, as we have no curbside recycling, so everything needs to be done in DIY fashion. For those of us that have to take a more proactive approach to recycling glass, here is a “Glass Recycling 101” lesson. First things first, find a local recycling center here on 1-800-RECYCLING.com that will accept your glass recyclables. Select the color of glass you need to recycle and then enter your ZIP code or city and click the Set Location button. You will then be presented with a list of recycling locations near you. If you live near a Target store, you’re able to recycle most of your glass on your shopping trips. My local Target accepts brown, clear and green glass for recycling. There is also a drop-off recycling center that is a bit further away from me, but it is a 24-hour drop-off location — so much more convenient. Now that you’ve found your local recycling facility you can set up your in-house glass-recycling center. Glass bottles need to be separated by color, and in order to make this process easier on you when it comes time to collect the bottles for drop-off, I recommend that you set up a separate container for each color at your house. Once you have separate containers set up for each color of glass, you’re ready to start using them. When you have finished using a glass bottle, rinse it out well and remove the cap for separate recycling. Put your rinsed-out, capless glass bottle into the appropriate recycling container and wait for recycling drop-off day. Note: Most recycling centers don’t require that the labels be removed from glass bottles because the recycling process takes care of labels, but be sure to call ahead and confirm. Once your containers near capacity, simply put them into your car and drive to the drop-off location. This process should be quick and easy since you have done all the prep work and sorting at home. Although curbside recycling is much more convenient, you can easily streamline your DIY glass recycling by spending a little bit of upfront time researching drop-off locations and setting up an organized in-house recycling center.
Glass Recycling 101
For those of us whose municipal programs don’t accept glass, it can be a bit more effort to make sure those bottles get recycled.