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How to crush glass bottles

Updated April 17, 2017

Some states charge residents a few cents for each beverage they purchase in a glass bottle in hopes of encouraging them to recycle the bottles to get their money back. Residents of states with no bottle-return law have more eco-friendly options for their old glass bottles than tossing them in a recycling bin. Crush your glass bottles using tools you already have around the house to recycle the glass for use in other projects. Use the crushed glass for craft or construction projects.

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  1. Put on protective eye wear and work gloves.

  2. Slide a glass bottle into one leg of a pair of jeans. Tie the bottle into the pant leg close to both the top and bottom of the bottle.

  3. Break the bottle into pieces by hitting it with a hammer as gently as possible, while still using enough force to break the bottle. Do this a few times until no part of the bottle is in its original condition; you can see this by looking at the shape of the pant leg.

  4. Stomp the broken bottle five to 10 times with a brick. You don't need to drop it from a few feet in the air, just tap it on the pant leg from a few inches away. The weight of the brick will do most of the work. Cover the whole tied-off section of pant leg evenly. Do this until there are no large chunks of bottle left; the pant leg will lay flat.

  5. Roll over the pant leg a five to 10 times with a rolling pin. Apply even, firm pressure on the rolling pin to thoroughly crush the glass.

  6. Untie the bottom of the pant leg while keeping the pant leg flat. Place the end of the pant leg in a bowl and slowly pour the crushed glass into the bowl.

  7. Tip

    A heavy marble rolling pin will work better than a wooden one, but either will do.


    Always wear protective eye wear and work gloves when crushing glass. Even though the glass is contained in the pant leg, it is still a good idea to protect your eyes and hands from any potential danger posed by stray shards.

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Things You'll Need

  • Protective eye wear
  • Work gloves
  • Old pair of jeans
  • Hammer
  • Brick
  • Rolling pin
  • Bowl

About the Author

Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Ainsley Patterson has been a freelance writer since 2007. Her articles appear on various websites. She especially enjoys utilizing her more than 10 years of craft and sewing experience to write tutorials. Patterson is working on her bachelor's degree in liberal arts at the University of Michigan.

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