How Glass Is Recycled
When a Huntington resident puts out their bottles and cans on a recycling day, they get picked up by a truck and sent to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF for short) Each item is sorted into a separate commodity.
All the glass is hand sorted by color and recycled separately. The reason why each color is recycled separately is because if you melted all three of these colors together, you get a pretty ugly color. (Try mixing white, brown, blue and green paint, you’ll see for yourself!) The sorted glass is sent by truck to a glass recycling plant in the south. At the glass recycling plant, the glass gets crushed into cullet, which is like little pebbles. The cullet is heated to 2,700 degrees, which is over five times hotter than your stove at home. When the glass gets that hot, it turns into a honey like mixture which is blown or pressed into new glass. Most glass bottles are made from at least 30% recycled glass.
It’s very important that you don’t put mirrors, china, ceramic or special oven proof glass in with the glass, they are considered contaminants. If any of these things gets into the glass recycling plant, it will make bubbles, black marks and cracks in the newly formed glass container.
Fun Fact: Did you know that glass is made mainly from sand just like the kind you play with at the beach. For every glass bottle you recycle, you are saving some sand from the beach.