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How to Dispose of Broken Glass: The Do’s & Don’ts

how to dispose of broken glass
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / kirahoffmann

Disposing of broken glass can be a messy and time-consuming task. But what is the best way to do this? Here are some practical tips on how to dispose of broken glass.

Although glass is one of the most commonly recycled materials, pieces of broken glass cannot be recycled in your average curbside recycling bin for safety reasons. Glass is also comprised mostly of sand and is heavier than other recyclable materials, such as some metals and plastic, making it harder to transport and recycle as a whole.

However, there are many practical and easy ways that you can dispose of your broken window, mirror, and glassware pieces at home. Here are several do’s and don’ts you should keep in mind when disposing of broken glass safely and practically.

Can your broken mirror be fixed instead of thrown out? Read How to Fix a Broken Mirror in 7 Foolproof Steps to see if you can repair it.

Getting Rid of Broken Glass: Do's and Don'ts

  • Do protect yourself and your hands first and foremost when handling broken glass of any kind. If you must pick up the pieces of glass by hand, always wear gloves first and vacuum/sweep the space where the glass was broken afterwards to avoid injury. 
  • Do check before throwing your glass in the garbage that it can’t be recycled first. Although, as previously mentioned, most broken glass is generally not recyclable due to composition issues, there are exceptions. Some companies do accept broken glass to be recycled into construction materials, so check your local area before disposing of any potentially reusable glass. 
  • Do remember to make it obvious that your garbage contains pieces of broken glass. This can easily be done by writing a small note and attaching to the front of your box, informing your garbage collectors that it contains broken glass.
  • Don’t just put your glass in a ball of loose paper or newspaper, as the pieces will easily fall out during transit and become a hazard. Always remember to securely tape your package and place it in some kind of additional packaging afterwards before disposal to prevent this.

How to Dispose of Broken Glass Bottles and Jars

Your broken bottles and jars can be safely transported when wrapped in a thick cloth or newspaper.
Your broken bottles and jars can be safely transported when wrapped in a thick cloth or newspaper.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Hans)

Whether it’s a wine glass, shattered lightbulb, broken vase, or cracked/broken jars and bottles, it is advised to throw broken glass of this type in the garbage.

However, there are many practical tips that you can use when disposing of broken glass to make this process easier and safer for yourself. Generally, recycling centers advise you to sweep your shattered glass into a newspaper roll, that you should then tape closed with eco-friendly/non-plastic tape. Put this newspaper roll into a cardboard box meant for the garbage, which you would ideally seal, too. This way, cleaning up your broken glass will be safer for both you and the sanitation center workers handling your garbage.

Practical Tips for Disposing of Broken Mirrors

Cleaning up a broken mirror does not have to mean seven years of bad luck! It is advised that you wrap the broken pieces of glass in old newspaper or another type of biodegradable wrapping, such as those mentioned in our guide to recycling bubble wrap

Next, duct tape your package before it goes into the garbage or put it in a sealable cardboard box. If your mirror is simply cracked, duct taping these cracks first is also an easy way to ensure it doesn’t break further on its way to your local sanitation center. Alternatively, a small amount of nationwide recycling centers do accept mirror glass, so check with your local services before throwing your mirror in the garbage.

How to Recycle Window Glass

Although not directly recyclable, your broken window glass can be reused in many different and practical ways.
Although not directly recyclable, your broken window glass can be reused in many different and practical ways.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / markusspiske)

In a house full of children, a window or two can easily get broken. So how are we supposed to dispose of this glass? The glass used in windows is also used in lightbulbs and household ceramic glassware and likewise cannot be recycled once broken. However, this glass does not have to necessarily end up in the garbage. Your broken pieces of window glass can be repurposed for upcycling to make a fun mosaic craft or other craft art project.

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