Glass is a very common material used in everyday groceries such as soda bottles, wine, and even pickles. Because of that, it’s likely that you need to dispose of glass fairly frequently. Well, don’t throw it away! Glass can be recycled, reused, or even repurposed into fun crafts. Read on to learn what to do with your glass when you’re done with it.

How Glass Is Recycled

When you’ve finished your soda, wine, or other glass bottle, you’ll likely want to throw it away. But glass can be recycled, so make sure you toss it in the recycling bin instead! You’ll want to check with your local recycling centers about what glass they accept, as some won’t accept items such as glass plates, mirrors, or ceramics.


In order to get the recycling process started, simply clean out your jar or bottle and toss it into the proper recycling bin. From there it will be:


  1. Taken to a treatment plant for sorting (glass gets sorted by color).
  2. Washed to remove any impurities.
  3. Crushed, melted, and molded back into jars, bottles, or other products. Sometimes the glass is repurposed for decorative use instead.
  4. Sent back to the companies that use glass to store their products.


The great thing about glass is that it doesn’t degrade in the recycling process, so it can be recycled over and over without any issues!


It’s also important to note that some recyclers require you to sort glass by color prior to them picking it up. This will prevent them from having to separate the glass later. Double-check with your local recycler to see if you need to separate your glass by color prior to pickup.

Can You Recycle Broken Glass?

Sometimes accidents happen and your glass containers end up breaking. If that’s the case, you should gather the broken glass into a bag and set it aside so that the recycling handlers can see it’s broken. This method is both safer for you and them.


Broken glass itself can be recycled, but it likely won’t be recycled into what it was. In other words, a broken glass bottle won’t be recycled back into a fresh glass bottle. More likely than not it will be crushed further and added as an additive in fiberglass or even tile. So while you can recycle broken glass, it’s best to keep it in good shape so that it can be recycled back into a jar or bottle.

Recycling Non-Container Glass

While most of the time you’ll need to recycle glass jars and other containers, sometimes you’ll need to replace a window in your house or want to get a new mirror and throw out an old one. It’s glass, so it can be put in the same recycling bin, right? Well, not always.


Glass that is used for items other than containers are often treated with chemicals, changing the melting point of the glass. This makes it difficult to recycle while combined with the glass bottles and jars. For this reason, you should still recycle any non-container glass, but keep it in a separate pile to ensure it doesn’t get mixed in with the containers.

Reusing Glass Bottles

In some cases, it may be a better idea to reuse your glass containers rather than putting them in the recycling bin. Glass bottles and jars are great for reuse, and can be reused as many times as you’d like! Old soda bottles can be washed and repurposed as water bottles, and pickle jars and similar containers can be used for food storage. Glass containers are easily washed and can even be put in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. And the best part is since you would already have purchased the product that is contained within these glass containers, it’s like receiving drinking glasses and storage containers for free!


There are a couple of things to watch out for when reusing glass containers though. First, glass breaks easily. You’ll want to take extra care to make sure you don’t drop and break your drinking bottles or food storage containers! Second, glass is typically heavier than other reusable containers such as stainless steel. This makes it less desirable for carrying around, especially when mixed with the fragility of glass. If you are bringing along a container of water while being active, it’s probably best to use a more durable container.

Fun Crafts With Glass

If you’ve got enough drinking glasses or food storage containers but want some other ideas for repurposing glass, look to crafts. You can turn an old wine bottle or pickle jar into decorative pieces with a little effort and extra material. Here are some fun craft ideas that involve glass (source):

Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

You can create a tasteful soap dispenser using an old mason jar and the pump from an old soap dispenser. All you need to do is drill a hole in the lid of the mason jar large enough for the pump to fit in, glue the pump to the lid, and fill with soap!

Glass Bottle Garden Edging

This one is super simple: gather together all of your glass bottles and push them into the ground neck first to surround the perimeter of your garden. You can get super creative with the pattern by using different sizes and colors of bottles.


You can also paint labels on single bottles and place them in your garden to mark the different species of plants you have!

Craft Storage

Turn your craft containers into crafts themselves using old glass. Mason jars can be used to hold colored pencils, markers, paper clips, yarn, and more. You can also paint labels on them for a fun way to stay organized. You can also use this idea for creating a glass spice container collection, keeping small tools and nails/screws handy in the garage, and more.


Glass material, when kept intact, can be recycled an almost unlimited amount of times. Even when it breaks, it can still be crushed and turned into useful material. And it can also be reused or even repurposed as fun crafts. Glass is an amazing material. Just remember to keep it out of landfills and toss it in the recycling bin when you’re done using it!