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Flat glass is a type of glass usually produced for windows and other types of applications where flat glass may be required, such as glass doors, transparent walls, and windscreens. It is also called sheet glass and plate glass. Flat glass stands in contrast to container glass (used for bottles, jars, cups) and glass fibre (used for thermal insulation, in fibreglass composites, and for optical communication).
Flat Glass can be melted down to make new glass products over and over again – it is 100% and endlessly recyclable. In fact, it’s the perfect circular economy material. And making new glass from recycled glass reduces CO2 emissions and energy use.
Flat Glass needs to be collected separately from bottle glass, therefore J&B operate a dedicated plate glass collection service to glaziers, window manufacturers etc. across the North East of England. As well as normal window glass, it can also include Laminated, Wired, Toughened/Tempered, Tinted, Mirrored and Float Glass.
Flat glass shouldn’t be put in your kerbside recycling bin at home, but you can take it to your local Household Recycling Centre (or tip).
Glass that is not reused or recycled will take over 4000 years to decompose. Sadly, figures show that most glazing, refurbishment and demolition glass waste currently ends up as aggregate i.e., it is almost never recycled into new glass products, instead it is recycled into raw materials like sand and gravel. That is if it avoids landfill, which contributes to climate change and loss of biodiversity.
You might be able to extract the glass from your window and turn it into a cabinet, table top or picture frame. Obviously, this sort of thing is inherently dangerous, and requires that you take adequate precautions. Use protective goggles, gloves, and make sure that you sweep up any fragments or dust when you’re done.
Most of us would probably hesitate before going to all of this effort – particularly if we’re not very creative. But you might find that someone else has a use for your old window! Making a listing on a site like Gumtree or Facebook is free and may yield results.
If your business generates Flat Glass waste, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
J&B Recycling are based in the North of England. Our commercial collection services operate from the Scottish Borders down to Hull and North Yorkshire. Our main areas for collecting and processing commercial waste include Teesside (Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton), Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Sunderland, North Tyneside and Northumberland.