Recycling Broken or Damaged Windshield Glass
Windshield glass is extremely strong and is designed to stay together if you are involved in an accident. A common question many glass shops hear is “Can you recycle windshield glass? The answer is yes! Even though the process has several steps, the clean glass can be recycled and turned into a wide variety of objects. In the past five years alone, one glass repair company has helped to recycle over 4 million windshields, keeping them from landfills and allowing the glass to be re-purposed.
What Makes Windshield Glass Different Than Other Types of Glass?
Windshield glass is also referred to as “safety” glass because of its ability to withstand excessive amounts of force. Its ability to hold together after a car crash is due to the layer of plastic that is encased by two layers of glass. This plastic layer, polyvinyl butyral, is extremely strong and causes the window to flex instead of shatter.
Although the glass may break, creating an intricate web of cracks, it doesn’t break apart. Years ago, when a windshield broke, the small pieces of sharp glass would become deadly projectiles. With the introduction of this new type of windshield glass, the risk of death or injury due to the flying glass is dramatically reduced.
How Is It Recycled?
To recycle windshield glass, it must pass through several steps. The glass of the windshield must first be broken and separated from the plastic sheet that’s pressed firmly between the layers. Once the plastic has been removed, the glass is put through a processor that grinds it down to its original state. Once it has been ground down, it can then be used to create new glass or glass-based materials. While it may not be exactly the same as bottle glass, it can still be used for a variety of purposes and kept from clogging up the landfills.
Who Accepts Windshield or “Safety” Glass for Recycling?
If you have a windshield that you want to recycle, you can call your local recycling center or glass repair shop to find out who will take it. In most cases, the glass repair shop will accept it and put it in with the ones they have that are ready for recycling. Recycling centers have access to the recycling facilities that are able to break down the glass and turn it over to the manufacturers who can then re-purpose it.
How Can Windshield Glass Be Re-purposed?
Recycled windshield glass can be re-purposed into new windshields, bottles, bowls, vases, etc. Recycled glass is often used by multi-medium artists who use it as part of sculptures, mosaics, and window art. Tile companies are also using it as part of the mixture used to produce their product. Glass is one of the most versatile materials in use today. With the latest advancements in the manufacturing and production of windshields, the glass from a broken window can be recycled and re-purposed more efficiently than ever before making it one of the most affordable materials available.
With environmental concerns making recycling the norm instead of the option, glass repair shops are implementing programs that allow them to recycle the windshields they replace. The number of windshields being sent to landfills has started to drop considerably. The more windshields that can be diverted from landfills, the more cost-effective replacement glass will become making it a win/win situation for everyone.
If you live in the West Chester, PA area and have questions about what happens to your old windshield glass or are curious about the process, contact Anthony Volk Glass today! When you need your windshield replaced or repaired, call Anthony first at (610) 436-9727 or use our online quote request form.