Glass Recycling

The Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority is implementing a new recycling program for glass approved by CT DEEP. Some local municipal recycling centers will begin to collect glass separate from the mixed recycling stream beginning in August 2020.  Please take the time to read below why we are implementing this program and how to properly prepare and recycle your glass beverage and food containers. For information specific to your town, select from the tabs below.

 

The current plan for the separated glass is to send it to Urban Mining a new recycling company here in Connecticut.  They make Pozzotive® a high performance postconsumer pozzolan and functional industrial filler, which is made from 100% recycled postconsumer glass.  Learn more about Urban Mining here.

 

It is important that you follow the instructions.  If you contaminate the glass container at your local drop-off with unacceptable items, it may cost your town contamination fees.  In order to recycle the glass at its highest value, you must recycle only the acceptable items listed below.

 

IMPORTANT to note: Glass is a designated recyclable by state law.  Glass should not be disposed of in the trash.  Learn more about the State of  Connecticut’s recycling laws by clicking here.

How a Used Bottle Becomes a New Bottle

What is the issue with glass?

After your recyclables are picked up at the curb, waste haulers bring the materials to a transfer station. It is then taken to a Material Recovery Facility (MRF). The facility’s machines and employees sort the materials using conveyor belts, screens, optical scanners, forced air, and magnets to identify and group materials together. The sorted materials are then bailed and sold to market to be made into new products.

 

While it’s convenient for residents to mix recyclables in the same bin, the sorting process for mixed recycling isn’t perfect. Machines and employees at the MRF cannot remove all the contamination. One of the biggest contaminates is broken glass particles. The pieces of glass attach themselves to paper, cardboard, and other recyclables contaminating the bails and reducing their market value. The glass itself that is sorted is contaminated with bits and pieces of other items such as small pieces of paper, bottle caps, metal, and straws. There is a cost to clean the glass in order for it to be recycled. Most MRF glass is sent to landfills as Alternate Daily Cover (ADC) and is never recycled into a new bottle or jar.

 

In addition, the glass is hard on equipment, accelerating the wear and tear on conveyor belts, screens and other moving parts.

What is the solution?

Due to current recycling markets, the cost to accept and process recyclables has increased significantly. In addition, contamination has also increased and has reduced the value of the commodities. In order to address the quality of the recyclables and to manage the increased cost, the Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority is implementing a program to recycle glass separate from the mixed recycling stream. This will increase the value of the overall mixed recycling stream and make the separated glass more marketable to be sold and recycled into new bottles and jars.

 

Glass is a Connecticut state mandated recyclable. All residents, businesses, schools and municipalities must recycle glass.

 

You may bring your glass to your local participating transfer station or contact a local hauler who provides the service at the curb.

How do I recycle glass correctly?

It is essential that you recycle ONLY acceptable glass. If you add any unacceptable items you contaminate the entire load and it will be either rejected or cost your town contamination fees.

 

1.)  Rinse your glass containers, remove lids or caps.

 

2.)  Place in a box or bag separate from your mixed recycling bin.

 

3.) Drop-off at your local participating recycling center during operating hours.

Note: Local transfer stations may require an annual permit to use the facility. Visit your town’s website or HRRA for more information

Local Glass Drop-Off Locations

Bethel
Bethel Transfer Station
1 Sympaug Park Rd.
Bethel, CT 06801
203-794-8549
Tuesday & Thursday 7:00am-3:00pm
Friday 7am -12pm
Saturday 7am – 3pm
(closed for lunch from noon to 1:00pm)
Bridgewater - NOT yet
Bridgewater is not offering a container at this time to recycle glass separate.  Please contact your hauler to inquire if they offer a separate collection of glass.  View the list of registered haulers in your town that collect glass separate.
Brookfield - NOT yet
Brookfield is not offering a container at this time to recycle glass separate.  Please contact your hauler to inquire if they offer a separate collection of glass.  View the list of registered haulers in your town that collect glass separate.
Danbury
Mom & Pop Drop-off (Oak Ridge)
307 White St.
Danbury, CT 06810
203-743-0405 ext 143
Tuesday 10:00am-5:00pm/Wednesday 12:00-8:00pm/Thursday & Friday 10:00am-2:00pm/Saturday 7:30am-3:30pm
Kent - NOT yet
Kent is not offering a container at this time to recycle glass separate.  Please contact your hauler to inquire if they offer a separate collection of glass.  View the list of registered haulers in your town that collect glass separate.
Town of Kent
38 Maple St.
Kent, CT06757
860-927-4627
New Fairfield - NOT yet
New Fairfield is not offering a container at this time to recycle glass separate.  Please contact your hauler to inquire if they offer a separate collection of glass.  View the list of registered haulers in your town that collect glass separate.
New Milford - NOT yet
New Milford is not offering a container at this time to recycle glass separate.  Please contact your hauler to inquire if they offer a separate collection of glass.  View the list of registered haulers in your town that collect glass separate.
Newtown - Accepted as of July 1st
Town Of Newtown
Ethan Allen Rd.
Newtown, CT 06470
203-270-4301
Tuesday-Saturday: 7:00am-3:00pm

Residents are encouraged (not required) to separate glass from their mixed recycling bin.

We understand going to the transfer station may not be ideal.  Ideas are currently under consideration on how to separate glass curbside.

In the meantime, for those who are able to take it to the transfer station, there will be a container for “glass only”.  The station is open from 7:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

A permit is NOT required to access the transfer station to recycle glass.

The Town of Newtown is the only town in the HRRA Region that has municipal collection of recycling.  This means the cost of collection is in your tax dollars.  Due to market conditions, the rate of recycling has increased from $10 a ton to now $94 ton.  Glass is the heaviest material in the mixed recycling stream.  When glass is removed from the mixed stream we can reduce the cost by $10-$15 per ton.

Glass in the Mixed Stream vs Collecting it Separately:
Currently, glass that is mixed in the stream is not being used for new glass products. It is turned into a beneficial material for landfill cover replacing the use of earthen products, which isn’t the highest & best use. However, when we collect glass separately, it becomes a quality material for recycling into bottles, composite industrial fillers for cement blocks, fiber glass products and many other recycled products.

Ridgefield
Town of Ridgefield
55 South Street
Ridgefield, CT 06877
203-431-2748
Monday-Saturday: 7:30am-3:00pm
Redding
Town of Redding Transfer Recycling Center
84 Hopewell Woods Rd.
Redding, CT 06896
203-938-2801
Monday/Wednesday/Friday/Saturday: 7:30am-3:00pm
Sherman - NOT yet
Sherman is not offering a container at this time to recycle glass separate.  Please contact your hauler to inquire if they offer a separate collection of glass.  View the list of registered haulers in your town that collect glass separate.
Weston - NOT Yet

Weston is not offering a container at this time to recycle glass separate.  Please contact your hauler to inquire if they offer a separate collection of glass.  View the list of registered haulers in your town that collect glass separate.

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT GLASS CAN I RECYCLE?

The glass program accepts all colors of food and beverage glass. Labels can stay on.
If you can see through it, we can likely recycle it!

For a complete list of glass items that can and can’t be recycled, please click here.

WHY ISN'T GLASS COLLECTED IN MY MIXED RECYCLING BIN?

The short answer—glass breaks.

When glass is mixed with other recyclables, broken glass degrades and contaminates those other materials, reducing their value and sometimes their ability to be sold to market.  In addition, the glass that is collected along with other recyclables is often sent to landfills as an Alternate Daily Cover and never recycled into a new product.

DOES THE HRRA PROVIDE BINS OR TOTES FOR MY HOME TO COLLECT GLASS?

The short answer is – No

The HRRA and participating municipalities are not providing small carry containers to collect glass.  We encourage you to reuse a box or a bag to collect your glass bottles and jars to transport them to your local recycling center.

DO I HAVE TO SEPARATE GLASS BY COLOR?
No, you don’t! All brown, green, blue, and clear food and beverage containers can be mixed together in the same collection bin.
DO I NEED TO REMOVE THE LABELS?
Nope. You can leave all the labels on your containers, unless you’re into label peeling and you find joy in it.
DO I NEED TO REMOVE LIDS AND CAPS?
If you can take them off easily, that would be great! We are trying to create a clean and valuable collection of glass without any contamination.
DO I HAVE TO RINSE THE CONTAINERS?
That would be nice. But it’s not essential. You may find that rinsing the bottles and glass containers keeps your home or garage smelling a bit fresher.
CAN I PUT PYREX OR COFFEE MUGS IN THE GLASS BIN?
We cannot accept Pyrex, Corning ware, ceramics, dishware, or your left overs. We can accept all glass food and beverage containers of any color (including mason jars).  These items are not made of the same glass recipe as beverage and food containers.  Placing these items in the bin will contaminate an entire load and could either be rejected or cost the region more money for alternative disposal.  It’s important to ONLY put acceptable items in your collection bin.
CAN I PUT MIRRORS, LIGHT BULBS OR TVs IN THE BIN?
Another short answer. No
For the same reasons you can not put pyrex dishes or ceramic, please do not put mirrors, light bulbs or TVs in your collection bin.
Some light bulbs contain mercury and should be recycled with your electronic waste along with the TV.
Mirrors should be placed in your household trash.
CAN I PUT WINDOWS, SHOWER DOORS OR GLASS TABLE TOPS IN THE BINS?
Sorry the answer is another NO.
We can not accept glass that is laminated (think windshields), or safety glass that is designed not to break. When in doubt, e-mail us at info@hrra.org
We can ONLY accept glass bottles, and food jars and containers.
CAN I PUT CANDLE JARS OR VOTIVES IN THE BINS?

No

WHAT IS GLASS CULLET?

Glass cullet is glass that is cleaned, crushed and ready to be processed into new products including glass containers, fiberglass, reflective paints, abrasives, aggregates, and more.

CAN THE HRRA HELP WITH RECYCLING AT LOCAL EVENTS?

Yes.  The HRRA through the support of CT DEEP offers special event recycling containers called Clear Stream Bins.  We provide the bins and the clear bag inserts.  Email info@hrra.org for more information.

SHOULD I INCLUDE REDEMPTION BOTTLES IN MY GLASS CONTAINER?

The short answer is no.

You should redeem your bottle deposit at a local redemption center or return to a grocery store.  If you can not get to redemption center or grocery store to return your bottles for redemption, they are acceptable for recycling in the glass collection program.

Environmental Facts

Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity.

Glass is made from readily-available domestic materials, such as sand, soda ash, limestone and “cullet,” the industry term for furnace-ready recycled glass.

Recycled glass can be substituted for up to 95% of raw materials.

Manufacturers benefit from recycling in several ways: Recycled glass reduces emissions and consumption of raw materials, extends the life of plant equipment, such as furnaces, and saves energy.

Recycled glass containers are always needed because glass manufacturers require high-quality recycled container glass to meet market demands for new glass containers.

Recycled glass is always part of the recipe for glass, and the more that is used, the greater the decrease in energy used in the furnace. This makes using recycled glass profitable in the long run, lowering costs for glass container manufacturers—and benefiting the environment.

http://www.gpi.org/recycling/glass-recycling-facts

For more facts on glass recycling visit www.gpi.org

Much of the information provided on this page came from Ripple Glass.  A successful glass recycling company.  You can visit their site at https://www.rippleglass.com/