As a family we try to live as “green” as possible and we’re always looking for new, easy ways to do this. One of the easiest conversions in our own home has been to start recycling. Unfortunately we don’t have a collection service in our neighbourhood, but this hasn’t stopped us!
Over the past few years we’ve collected all our recyclable waste in a separate bin (I installed one specifically for this task during our home renovations last year) Then what we do is collect the bags of recyclables and drop them off at our nearest recycling centre once a week. Yes, sometimes we find ourselves driving around with a boot load of bags when we’ve forgotten to do the drop, but ultimately the amount of extra work this takes is really minimal… and when you think about the amazing impact you’re having on the environment it’s totally worth it!
The good news is that it really is very easy to start recycling. One of the easiest ways to start is by choosing to recycle your glass. By dropping off your glass recycling, manufacturers are then able to melt the glass down to make brand new packaging. There are so many recycling outlets, even shopping malls and schools, that have a glass recycling dome that to be honest there’s really no excuse! 😉
The more of us who become aware of the importance of living in a more eco-friendly way, the better – for our environment, our health, our kids future! Recycling really is common sense…
September is Glass Recycling Month, so to inspire some more of you to take up the challenge of recycling all your empties, and to get into the habit before the celebratory months of the Festive Season, I’m here to help you with some tips on how to recycle your glass bottles…
I’m sure some of you are already doing this but the truth is that the Glass Recycling rate is currently at 41.1%, and while that is great, it could be MUCH higher!
Top 10 Tips on How To Recycle Glass
- Start by setting aside an area at home or in the office where you can collect all of your waste glass for recycling. We use a separate dustbin that we’ve built into our scullery area but you can also use an old milk crate or wooden box in your back yard. It just needs to be big enough to carry a week’s worth of glass recycling as you won’t want to be changing the box more often than that!
- Glass that can be recycled includes jars and bottles eg. glass tomato sauce and mayonnaise bottles, glass coffee jars, jam or pickle jars; glass cooldrink bottles, beer and wine bottles.
- Glass that cannot be recycled includes windscreen glass, window pane glass, mirrors, light bulbs, drinking glasses and tumblers, PyrexTM or laboratory glass. These items cannot be recycled with your regular glass recycling as this glass has different properties to packaging glass.
- Set aside all glass containers mentioned above in the “can by recycled list”
- If your glass jars are dirty, rinse out any food or leftover drink with water and remove the lids or caps, then pop them in your storage place. Fortunately in South Africa it is not necessary to place different coloured glass into separate banks so don’t worry to separate the colours.
- Locate your nearest glass bank or recycling point. There are recycling points at many service stations, shopping centres, municipal refuse drop-off sites, libraries, schools and buy-back centres. Click here for a list of glass banks where you can recycle glass.
- Drop off your glass at your local glass bank or recycling point! Plan your trips to the glass banks to fit into your daily schedule – it will become part of your plan rather than a chore! We tend to go grocery shopping at the local supermarket on a Sunday and they have a recycling centre where we empty our boot before filling it again! If taking your waste glass can’t be accommodated into your daily routine, contract the services of a waste removal company to collect it from your home each week.
- To take your recycling even further why not encourage your colleagues and management to begin recycling at the office or encourage your school or local community organisation to participate or start their own recycling programme.
- Another way to prevent glass from going to landfill is by taking back returnable bottles to the store you bought them from. Returnable bottles are glass beverage bottles that can be returned to a supermarket, liquor outlet or retailer once empty, for a refund. These will be sent back to the manufacturers to be hygienically cleaned and sterilised. Returnable bottles are then refilled and reused, eliminating the need to recycle them in the first place and saving a lot of time and money along the way! Returnable bottles include large beer bottles such as ‘dumpies’, glass cola bottles and many spirit and liquor bottles. South Africa has one of the most sophisticated returnable systems in the world!
- One very easy way for you to reduce your glass consumption (if you’re unable to recycle) is by reusing your glass. After cleaning out your empties at home why not choose to reuse your glass containers again and again. A glass bottle can be used again to hold another liquid, store homemade preserves or leftover food or even reused as a vase! We use ours in our pantry cupboard to store dry food and spices and I love using glass jars as inexpensive party decor or candle holders.
Here are a few fun ways to reuse your own glass jars…
I actually made a YouTube video about this very thing a while back so take a look –>
Glass is one of the world’s most prevalent and sustainable materials. It is both hard enough to use as building resources for our homes or offices and flexible enough to create inspiring works of art. Glass is in its molten state can be converted into any form or shape. This allows it to be dynamic, shifting to match the vision of the person shaping its form.
Glass can be endlessly recycled and change shapes many times, making it a substance of infinite possibilities. Using glass South Africans are finding unique ways to build a legacy, from spearheading the recycling industry, building small community businesses and creating conceptual artwork that will inspire for years to come.
The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC) would like to challenge you to go green this festive season by recycling your glass!
The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC) is proud to be celebrating 11 years of glass recycling success in South Africa. This anniversary marks a decade of sustainable glass recycling and glass reuse, a practice vital for all packaging.