2017 Recycling Industry Yearbook
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Recycling Indus try Yearbook

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc.


Glass is made from readily available domestic materials, such

as sand, soda ash, limestone and “cullet,” the industry term

for furnace-ready scrap glass. Glass can be recycled again and

again with no loss in quality or purity. In 2014, 39.5 percent

of beer and soft drink bottles were recovered for recycling,

according to the U.S. EPA. Another 31.8 percent of wine and

liquor bottles and

14.7 percent of food

and other glass jars

were recycled. In

total, 32.5 percent of

all glass containers

were recycled,

equivalent to taking

210,000 cars off the

road each year.

For every ton of glass recycled, more than a ton of raw materials

is saved, including 1,300 lbs. of sand, 410 lbs. of soda ash,

380 lbs. of limestone, and 160 lbs. of feldspar. Recycled glass

is substituted for up to 70 percent of raw materials used in

making new glass. An

estimated 90 percent of

recovered glass is used to

make new glass bottles.

Manufacturers benefit

from recycling in several

ways: it reduces emissions

and consumption of raw

materials, extends the life

of plant equipment (such as furnaces) and saves energy. Glass

recycling creates no additional waste or byproducts.

Glass manufacturers are requiring more and more high-quality

recycled container glass to meet market demands for new

glass containers. Color-sorted, contaminant-free recycled glass

helps ensure that these materials are recycled into new glass

containers. While curbside collection of glass recyclables can

generate high participation and large amounts of recyclables,

drop-off and commercial collection programs are also effective

at yielding high-quality container glass.