Can I Put Glass in a Skip?
Glass is a surprisingly versatile material and it is used in many different forms. It’s often assumed that disposing of glass is as easy as throwing it into a recycling bin, but it’s a little more complicated than that…
Can glass be recycled?
Most local councils now either accept glass via the Household Waste Recycling Scheme, or have glass recycling bins available for people to use in convenient locations. As a general rule, only bottles and jars can be recycled in this way. Disposing of glass from items such as light bulbs, windows, furniture, and mirrors is slightly different, they should not be recycled due to being made of a different type of glass.
Types of glass
The physical properties of glass can be changed during the manufacturing process, which means there are many different types of glass, suitable for a vast range of purposes. The reason some types of glass can’t be recycled is due to the inclusion of other materials during manufacturing. It is very difficult to separate mixed glass during the glass recycling process.
We’ve made a list of some of the most common types of glass and how they are used.
Flat glass is the base material for most of the glass products you see each day. Most commonly used in windows, windscreens, and appliances, flat glass usually goes through another process before being made into the final product. When broken, untreated flat glass splits into long shards.
Laminated glass has an additional layer that prevents it from shattering, this means it’s especially useful for security reasons. Laminated glass is often used in car windscreens, shop windows and for glass doors.
First patented in 1874, toughened glass goes through a cooling process that makes it more resistant to breakage. If toughened glass gets broken, it shatters into small, square-shaped fragments. It is used in glass products such as shower doors and glass furniture, as it is safer and less likely to cause injury if shattered.
When a metal coating is applied to one side of a pane of glass it creates a mirror. Mirrored glass can be used for small handheld or bathroom mirrors, or in huge sizes for things like mirrored wardrobe doors. The metal used in the coating is usually either silver, chrome, gold, or aluminium.
Patterned glass is passed through a roller before it cools and imprinted with a regular pattern. It’s usually used for glass that needs to let in light whilst not being totally see-through, like bathroom windows.
A frosted effect can be created by blasting a pane of glass with a rough material, traditionally this is sand, hence the name. This is often used for decorative designs, and is also particularly popular for creating a privacy screen in bathrooms and showers.
Metal oxides can be added to glass to create a darker colour, which can help to filter UV light and reduce the glare of the sun, whilst still letting sufficient light through. Tinted glass is often used on office buildings that do not have any other form of shade or protection from the sun.
Different types of coatings are used on glass to produce a variety of properties and characteristics. Double glazing uses coated glass to improve the insulating properties of windows, coatings can also be used to resist infra-red light.
Can you put glass in a skip?
Yes, you can usually put glass in a skip, simply check with your skip provider. As mentioned earlier, glass bottles and jars can usually be recycled via either your household recycling bin, or at local glass collection points. Other types of glass cannot be recycled easily, they should be disposed of carefully by following a few safety precautions:
- Small pieces of glass should be wrapped and placed into a container or cardboard box before adding them to your skip. Label the box with ‘broken glass’ as an added precaution.
- Windows, mirrors or panes of glass with cracks should have tape placed over them in several directions to hold the glass together and reduce the risk of injury.
- Add a layer of tape to the edge of any large shards of glass.
Can you put greenhouse glass in a skip?
Follow the above safety precautions if you are putting greenhouse glass in a skip.
If you have a large amount of glass to dispose of, for example from replacing multiple windows, or from a commercial building demolition, you might find the most suitable waste management solution to be skip hire.
How is glass recycled?
Once glass is received at the waste treatment facility it goes through several processes to ensure only recyclable glass is left. First, paper or plastic is removed using blown air, then metals are removed using a magnet. The remaining glass is sorted by colour and washed to remove any remaining impurities, then it gets crushed and melted. Once the glass is melted it can then be made into recycled glass objects. Recycled glass is usually used for jars and bottles, which can then be recycled again and again.
Recycling glass is a relatively straightforward process, provided the different types of glass are kept separate. The most important thing to remember when disposing of glass is to do so as safely as possible.