Glass Recycling in Sydney

[DISCLAIMER: We do NOT offer glass recycling services, this is just a handy guide to glass recycling in Sydney – Give us a call if you need rubbish removal services] Glass is one of the oldest forms of packaging harnessed by humans – discovered by the Phoenicians almost 5,000 years ago. The most commonly used forms are called “silicate glasses” based on the chemical compound silica (silicon dioxide) – this is generally what you will find in bottles and glassware in households.

Glass is made from a combination of soda ash, limestone and sand and, unlike many other forms of recycling, can be reused an infinite number of times as it doesn’t degrade throughout the recycling process. Because of this, it is vital that we recycle as much as possible, the main benefit being the possibility of drastically cutting down environmental impacts of glass production and manufacture.

If you are after an efficient, environmentally friendly rubbish removal service to get rid of large quantities of glass, give Sydney Rubbish Services a call.

glass recycling

Photo via Flickr

Glass recycling is incredibly efficient as it doesn’t degrade each time it is reused. In many ways, bottles and jars are the ultimate recyclable product, there’s no excuse not to do the right thing.

A Short History of Glass:

People have used naturally-occurring glass (obsidian) for millennia. It was quite rare and traded extensively, used for making sharp objects like arrowheads and knives, and for money. It is commonly acknowledged that the Phoenicians were the first to make class in Syria around 5,000 BC. However, the first archaeological evidence of man-made glass is dated around 3,500 BC (found around Eastern Mesopotamia and Egypt) and the first glass vessels from 1500BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia.

The blow pipe was invented by Syrian craftsmen around 1000BC, paving the way for cheap, fast glass production. From this time, evidence shows that the glass industry exploded, then declined rapidly. Then, around 700BC in Mesopotamia and 500 BC in Egypt, production grew once more with countries on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean becoming the centre of glass production.

Glass-making flourished under the Roman Empire. By the time of the Crusades, Venice had become the epicentre of global glass production. In the 15th century, Venetian glass blower, Angelo Barovier, developed the first clear, colourless glass. Over the next 100 years, glass production travelled north and expanded into large factories. In 1674, English glassmaker invented lead glass, known for its decorative qualities.

In the 1820s, the a hand-operated glass blowing machine was invented; by the 1870s, semi-automatic glass production was common practice. From here, the ubiquity of glass increased rapidly. In 1959, float glass production was invented by Sir Alastair Pilkington – 90% of glass is still produced with this technique today.

The Facts:

• Glass is 100% recyclable, meaning that it can be reused infinite times without degrading.

• Making glass from recycled bottles saves 75% more energy than making it from raw materials.

• Recycling one average glass jar will save enough energy to power a standard 100-watt lightbulb for 4 hours, or a fluorescent light bulb for 20 hours!

• Recycling 1 tonne of glass will save 34 litres of oil from production.

• Making glass from raw materials produces double the greenhouse gas than produced throughout the recycling process.

• Recycled glass, when crushed down, can be used as a substitute for sand in concrete.

• 25% of new glass jars and bottle are made from recycled materials.

• Glass can take anywhere between 4000 to 1 million years to breakdown in landfill.

999 Green Bottles

Photo via Flickr

How Is Glass Actually Recycled?

Step 1: Collection

Glass is collected from homes, businesses and recycling sites by a dedicated rubbish removal service and sent to a recycling facility.

Step 2: Sorting Colours

Glass bottles are then sorted into different colour values – clear, brown and green

Step 3: Crushing and Processing

Each colour is then crushed into what is called cullet which is then sent to a beneficiation plant.

Step 4: Beneficiation

During the beneficiation process, the cullet is essentially purged of impurities: a magnet is passed over to remove any metals, it is then blasted with air to remove non-magnetic metals, vacuumed to remove light contaminants, and finally lasered to remove any final contaminants.

Step 5: Melting

The remaining materials are then melted down in a furnace at around 1500 degrees celsius.

Step 6: Creating New Products

The molten glass can the be poured into mould to make new products like bottles and jars!

This process can happen infinite times, making glass the ultimate recyclable product. There is no reason why households and offices shouldn’t recycle all of their glass waste products, and considering the environmental benefits it is our duty to do all we can to strive for a more sustainable lifestyle.

Where Can You Recycle Glass in Sydney?

SITA (now SUEZ) have the most extensive network of rubbish dump Sydney locations. Each charge a fee to dump there. Here are their locations:

Artarmon Waste Management

Auburn Waste Management

Belrose Waste Managament

Chullora Waste Management

Eastern Creek Waste Management

Lucas Heights Waste Management

Rockdale Waste Management

Ryde Waste Management

Seven Hills Waste Management

Getting rid of large amounts of glass can be a real hassle. Glass is heavy and extremely bulky and, of course, can be very dangerous when smashed, so handle with care when delivering to any of the above facilities.

Unfortunately we do not offer glass recycling services, however if you are in need of rubbish removal services, contact us today or book a free quote online. Sydney Rubbish Services are more than capable of getting the job done right and in an eco-friendly manner.

* Statistics sourced from SITA.