Recycling Glass 101

This story was originally published by WOOD-TV for

You may know that recycling has many benefits including energy savings, reduction in water use, decreases in greenhouse gases and conserving resources to name a few. But did you know that just 15% of Michiganders recycle, the lowest in the Great Lakes region and among the lowest in the nation. And not all those who recycle are doing it properly. But there is a new effort to change all that. the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy has kicked off a campaign to better inform Michiganders what can – and cannot – be recycled, as well as to increase the amount of material recycled statewide. This campaign, titled the “Know It Before You Throw It” campaign aims to promote best practices and emphasize that recycling provides a wide range of environmental and economic benefits and this week we’re focusing on glass.

Like many to-be recycled products, it is critical to rinse and empty all glass containers. This means rinsing out containers, so they are completely empty of food or beverages prior to tossing them in the recycling bin. Clear glass food jars are usually accepted curbside. However, lids should be removed to be recycled in their respective streams (plastic or metal). Non-food glass is rarely recycled curbside, so items like glassware or lightbulbs have to be recycled elsewhere. Every municipality in Michigan has slightly different rules, however. It’s important to routinely check with local officials about what’s permissible in individual communities. Specifically, for glass, it’s important to check to see if they accept brown, green and blue glass curbside.

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