We live in a world where almost anything can be recycled. Glass, one of Australia’s most common materials, has become a main staple of the recycling industry.

It is one man-made product that can be re-made time and again, without losing any of its properties and without polluting the environment.

In fact, the same glass can be recycled a million times over to produce bottles and jars of the same high quality every time. [1]

But architectural glass used for windows, doors, transparent walls and windshields, has a different composition to household glass so can’t be recycled in the same manner.

What’s the difference between household glass and architectural glass?

Bottle glass has a different chemical composition and melting temperature than window glass, meaning the two products can’t be recycled together.

Manufacturers creating new bottles have invested in the equipment needed to crush bottles and remelt them. This infrastructure is vital to make recycling work. In addition, bottles are a fairly uniform and easy-to-identify product.

Window glass is a trickier proposition. Most windows come attached to metal or wooden frames and have to be disassembled, which is labor intensive and expensive. Picking out the different types of window glass poses a bit more of a challenge. Is the glass tinted or not? Is it safety glass or tempered glass? All these different subsets of window glass also cannot be combined to create a new product. As a result, the industry has said “no” to recycling old windows.

However, not all hope is lost. Creative industry professionals are finding other uses for old windows. The glass can be melted and remanufactured into Fibreglass. Ground glass can be incorporated into glassphalt, a glass and asphalt blend, or stirred into the reflective yellow and white paint used on roads. Broken glass is combined with concrete to create terrazzo flooring and countertops.

Sheet glass can also be crushed and tumbled for Agriculture and landscape applications, such as top dressing, root zone material or golf bunker sand.

How does recycling glass save energy?

When glass is crushed in the recycling process it becomes a product called cullet.

Making new glass from recycled cullet saves energy because recycled glass melts at a lower temperature than virgin raw materials. Because the materials do not need to be heated as much, less energy is required in the manufacturing process.
Recycling glass also reduces the need for mining of raw materials. Not only does this help in conserving our natural resources, but it also lowers environmental pollution minimising the use of heavy machinery and diesel fuels.

Did you Know?

  • The energy saved from recycling just one glass bottle is enough to power a computer for 25 minutes. [4]
  • Fulgurites and obsidian are both naturally occurring glass. Fulgurites are formed when lightening strikes sand, and obsidian is created when felsic lava is cooled at a rapid rate.

We can all recycle glass…

If you use glass on a small scale, make sure you place it in your council recycle bin bare of contaminants such as food, plastic lids, cork or metals.

For larger hauls of glass products such as bottles from parties, used windows and doors from your latest renovation or architectural glass removed from shopfronts and internal walls, call the team at Cheapest Load of Rubbish.

We recycle all waste where possible by separating every load of rubbish into like materials. Each load is then transported to the appropriate transfer station or recycling plant ready for processing and reuse.

For more information about how we can help you recycle, why not give us a call on 9550 1181!
We’re only too happy to help.


  1. https://www.cleanup.org.au/PDF/au/cua-glass-fact-sheet.pdf
  2. https://recyclenation.com/2011/09/window-glass-recycling-difficult-not-impossible
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass_recycling
  4.  https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/resources/managewaste/120354-glass.pdf