Glass is one of the common materials you are likely to find in a dumping site. This is because glass is non-biodegradable, meaning that it does not decompose and form part of the soil. Instead, it stays intact when buried in the soil where it continues to pose health hazards and damage the environment. You should, therefore, be responsible when disposing of glass so that it is easily accessible and available to recycling centres. This will promote environmental sustainability, offer employment opportunities and lower energy costs among other benefits. The following discussion evaluates everything you need to know about recycling glass:
What Steps Are Involved?
Recycling glass begins with the collection of the waste material from various dumping sites and collections spots. Some recyclers work with business owners and homeowners associations for the organised collection of waste.
Cleaning and Crushing
After the glass waste has been collected, it is cleaned to remove any other contaminants that are not part of the primary glass material. This includes paper labels, plastics sleeves, and metal caps often used to label and seal products. After cleaning, the glass is crushed to make cullet, which is cheaper than raw materials used to make glass.
The cost incentives offered by cullet over raw materials used to manufacture glass provides good leverage for recyclers to sell the cullet to various clients. After cleaning, the recyclers transport the cullet to various firms that hold the cullet in high regard because of its manufacturing value.
What Types of Glass Can be Recycled?
Glass comes in various compositions and forms so that it can serve different applications. All these forms can be recycled, and there is no reason you shouldn't find a way of availing them to recyclers.
Soda-lime Silica Glasses
The soda-lime silica glasses encompass most of the glass used to make containers for beverages and food, windows, decorative accessories, and tables. It accounts for a large percentage of the glass manufactured all over the world due to its usage flexibility.
Phosphate glass is made mainly of phosphate oxides and a few other compounds. They are good at standing up to corrosive chemicals such as hydrofluoric acid, an element that makes it popular for laboratory equipment and apparatus. It is also suitable for doping with colourants to exhibit peculiar light transmission attributes. Most of the coloured glass you see around is phosphate glass.
In harsh thermal conditions, borosilicate glass is the superb choice because of its ability to withstand significant temperature fluctuations.