Can I Recycle Broken Glass, Wine Glasses, Drinking Glasses, Window Panes?

We’ve broken a couple of wine glasses lately and although I knew our recycling facility in our home town won’t take glass from wine or drinking glasses, I thought I’d look up the reasons why. According to Washington State’s Department of Ecology: “The combination of ingredients used to make glassware is different from what goes into container glass for bottles and jars. If these two types of glass are recycled together, the resulting glass will not be suitable for container glass. In fact, glassware, ceramics, window panes, or mirrors can pose a threat to equipment in a glass recycling plant.”

So that’s our answer for wine glasses, and likely the answer for all glass recycling facilities. We don’t want to contaminate the glass used for containing food. But if you break your mason or mayo jar, you can still put it in your glass recycling. It’s the material that counts, not whether it’s broken. I simply put the glass shards inside another jar that I’m recycling, as tightly as I can, so it all just melts down together.

So, for the non-recyclable glass, here are a few reuses I came up with that also might help:

1. Will anyone else take your broken drinking glasses? If they’re made of pretty colors, you might try a local potter or ceramics artist since glass mixed in with other glazes can make pretty colors in a firing.

2. Have windows that you want to recycle? Try your nearest Habitat for Humanity Store or save them and turn to our Trash Backwards app for window reuse inspirations:

3. If you have a tumbler hanging around, save your broken glass to make your own tumbled sea glass.


4. Recycle This in the UK has some interesting reuse ideas, like using your broken glass under your wood shed to deter rats!

5. Take the stem of your broken wine glass and glue it to the bottom of a teacup for a pretty teacup wine glass.

6. If your wine glass only has a chip or crack in it, or if it’s etched from your dishwasher, you can transform it into an adorable tea candle lamp. And if your kitty breaks enough of your wine glasses, then you can make a whole set of ’em.

7. Put your glass shards in the bottom of a plant pot to help with drainage?

What do you do with your broken glass? Send us your comments below or if you have a great solution you’d like to include in our app, please submit it through our contributor’s page.

6 thoughts on “Can I Recycle Broken Glass, Wine Glasses, Drinking Glasses, Window Panes?

  1. I try to recycle most things, as you know. Sadly our council has a very poor recycling policy – especially when it comes to glass. In fact, I was horrified to learn recently that despite having a recycling “day” as well as our regular refuse uplift, ALL items are disposed of in one huge site! Whats the point of that??!! Anyway, great ideas here for broken glass. 🙂


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