A common question many glass shops hear is “Can you recycle windshield glass? The answer is yes! Windshield glass is extremely strong and is designed to stay together when involved in an accident. The process has several steps. The clean glass can be recycled and turned into a wide variety of objects. Some glass recycling shops have kept them from landfills allowing the glass to be re-purposed.
Is Windshield Glass Different from Other Glass?
Windshield glass is also called “safety” glass because of its ability to withstand excessive amounts of force. Its ability to hold together after a car crash is due to the layer of plastic that is encased by two layers of glass. This plastic layer keeps the glass from shattering. Years ago, when a windshield broke, the small pieces of sharp glass would become deadly projectiles. With the introduction of this new type of windshield glass, the risk of death or injury due to the flying glass is dramatically reduced.
Recycle Windshield Glass?
To recycle windshield glass, it must pass through several steps. The glass of the windshield must first be broken and separated from the plastic sheet that’s pressed firmly between the layers. Once the plastic has been removed, the glass is put through a processor that grinds it down to its original state. Once it has been ground down, it can then be used to create new glass or glass-based materials. While it may not be exactly the same as bottle glass, it can still be used for a variety of purposes and kept from clogging up the landfills.
Who Accepts Windshield or “Safety” Glass for Recycling?
If you have a windshield that you want to recycle, you can call your local recycling center or glass repair shop to find out who will take it. In most cases, the glass repair shop will accept it and put it in with the ones they have that are ready for recycling. Recycling centers have access to the recycling facilities that are able to break down the glass and turn it over to the manufacturers who can then re-purpose it.
How Can Windshield Glass Be Re-purposed?
Recycled windshield glass can be re-purposed into new windshields, bottles, bowls, vases, etc. Recycled glass is often used by multi-medium artists who use it as part of sculptures, mosaics, and window art. Tile companies are also using it as part of the mixture used to produce their product. Glass is one of the most versatile materials in use today. With the latest advancements in the manufacturing and production of windshields, the glass from a broken windshield can be recycled and re-purposed more efficiently than ever before making it one of the most affordable materials available.
With environmental concerns making recycling the norm instead of the option, glass repair shops are implementing programs that allow them to recycle the windshields they replace. The number of windshields being sent to landfills has started to drop considerably. The more windshields that can be diverted from landfills, the more cost-effective replacement glass will become making it a win/win situation for everyone.