Too Much Trash

What Should We Do With All The Glass Trash?

Even though everyone is more conscious of their waste habits nowadays, we are still producing more and more every year. As our population grows, we must find ways to recycle more of our waste. Let’s be honest who wants to live on, or next, to a landfill?

Take a look at a time lapse of the landfills over the last 100 years

History of landfills
A look at the last 100 years of landfills. Credit: Save On Energy

As you can see from the map, we already live next to landfills. When those landfills get full, they turn into parks where our kid’s play, golf courses, and parking garages.

The average person throws away about 3.5 pounds of trash a day. Multiply this by the current US population of ~300 million, and you get a whole lot of trash, or should I say too much trash?

As a country, we are doing a lot better recycling. We recycle roughly 34% of our garbage. Here in Arizona, we have programs to help with our recycling, but as many reports have indicated we fall well short of the national average. We have some work to do.

There is one area I think we can do better. Window panes, mirrors, windshields, car windows, treated glass, and glass table tops aren’t recyclable. This glass gets tossed into landfills.

One ton of recycled glass saves (source):
• 42 kWh of electricity.
• 5 gallons of oil.
• 714.3 Btu’s of energy.
• Two cubic yards of landfill space.
• 7.5 pounds of air pollutants from being released.
• 1,330 pounds of sand.
• 433 pounds of soda ash.
• 433 pounds of limestone.
• 151 pounds of feldspar.

Glass Restoration Guru is in a position to help with the unrecyclable glass. We are proposing a partnership with glass companies in Arizona. We would like to take the unrecyclable glass and repair it then repurpose it. We plan to roll out more information about this over the next few months. Hopefully, with some local support, we can gain some traction and create a program that other companies can follow.

Some may think this isn’t a problem that glass doesn’t represent a huge portion of the waste in landfills. This couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, because so much tin is recycled it counts for less than 1% of waste. In China right now glass companies can’t produce new glass unless it’s deemed an emergency (source).


If you think you can help us in the partnership please give us a call. Take a look at our Glass Restoration portfolio to see some of the work we have done. And please share this post to help spread the word!