How to dispose of glass

Updated February 21, 2017

Disposing of glass products can take a variety of methods, depending on the type of glass and its former use. Food containers are disposed of differently than window glass. Glass which held chemicals also must be handled differently. Broken glass and ceramic items need another method of disposal. There are also some creative ways to dispose of glass as well. Knowing what to do with the types of glass you have is important so that you minimise the chance of injury or contamination to anyone.

Figure out what types of glass you no longer need. Food and beverage jars can be recycled by local communities. Window glass and mirrors can go to salvage stores or a community swap.

Dispose of ceramic glassware, lighting or tubes by breaking them up and placing them with the regular garbage.

Dispose of broken glass with careful handling and gloves. Wrap the glass in multiple layers of newspaper securely. Then place the newspaper wrapped glass in a plastic grocery bag if you have one. Tie the bag and dispose of with the household trash.

Rinse glass bottles which contained chemicals or solvents. You should rinse these out in hot soapy water at least three times to avoid any potential contaminant from becoming active. Once you do this, you should write "Rinsed Bottle" on it using a marker and dispose of it in the regular garbage. These bottles cannot be recycled.

Wrap mirrors or old window glass in old shirts, towels or sheets. Tape the wrapping tight to avoid having the glass slip out. Lay the glass flat when you transport it. Take the glass to a local artist or hobby shop where someone may get use out of it.

Find an artist or glass blower who might be willing to take your glass containers. This type of artist can melt the glass down and reuse it for a new project or artwork. Make sure you have rinsed the containers out sufficiently beforehand.

Use glass jars for disposing of oils or grease. Fill the jar ¾ full and wait for the contents to become solid. Place the lid on the jar and dispose of in the regular garbage. This eliminates both the contaminated oil from clogging and destroying pipes as well as disposes of unwanted glass.


Do not allow children to handle broken glass. Dispose of broken glass immediately to avoid injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Sheets
  • Towels
  • Gloves
  • Garbage bags
  • Newspaper
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