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Window Glass Recycling Guide

Are you planning to buy new windows for your home?

That’s a great decision since new quality windows will create a more comfortable living environment and payback in reduced cooling and heating costs. 

However, you as a responsible homemaker, now are wondering what to do with the old windows. You know, tossing window glass out with other garbage, is not an option. You need to recycle glass.

But can you recycle window glass?
Or maybe we can reuse old windows? 

We’re a team of experts in rubbish and will answer these questions and more. Keep reading to find out everything you must know before changing windows. 

Must-know Before You Sart

Before you begin window glass replacement and other works, you must find out when your property was built. That’s because doors and windows in homes built before 1978 might contain hazardous lead-based paint, which is especially dangerous for children. 

So, if you own an old house, you’ll have to reduce dust when the paint is disturbed. 

Furthermore, you’ll need to give special attention to the disposal of the old window glass with frames, especially if they contain lead paint. 

They must be disposed of as household dangerous waste at a local solid waste facility.

Can You Recycle Window Glass?

Glass bottles, jars, and other containers are highly recycled; however, that’s not the case for window glass. 

Different types of glass have unique structures, chemical compositions, hence different melting temperatures, so they can’t be recycled together. 

While containers and bottles are fairly consistent, window glass is far more complex. The way how window glass is made also matters, there are coated or tinted options; depending on the application, you can find laminated or tempered glass. 

Different window glass kinds can’t be combined in the recycling process. 

Even though window glass might not be recycled easily, there are good solutions for keeping it out of the landfill. 

For instance, it can be incorporated into asphalt, re-manufactured into fibreglass, or combined into reflective white and yellow road paint. 

Sometimes old window glass can be used for decorative applications. 

Some companies combine broken glass with concrete to make terrazzo flooring and countertops.

Finally, you can check with art schools and donate your window glass to artists who work with glass.

What To Do With Window Glass?

Now you may wonder how to get rid of old windows. Below, we’ll provide several good options.

Turn To Recycling Centre 

Unfortunately, we generate tons of construction and demolition waste per year. That’s why lots of countries try to address this problem by maintaining lists of proper recyclers.

So, try to contact your local solid waste agency and ask them to refer you to a company that takes window glass for recycling. 

You can also ask your window installer whether they cover this issue and how they dispose of old windows. Some installers might already have window recycling partners. Also, lots of deconstruction services will recycle old windows.

Upgrade Your Old Windows

According to new technology geeks Home Maker, nowadays tech can allow you to upgrade old windows – you can turn them into solar panels. Some U.S. companies offer a spray-on technology for glass surfaces; after being processed, these surfaces will generate renewable solar energy.  

However, if there are any window glass defects, it negates most of the value in the material. So, when renovating your house, make sure the old windows stay intact, this way they’ll have more value in the recycling market. 

Give The Old Windows Away

When window glass is no longer welcome in your home, consider donating it to Habitat for Humanity ReStores. After all, your old windows may be a welcome addition to someone else’s home. 

ReStores suggest pickup for window glass and other building materials, so you even don’t have to worry about taking your old stuff away. Reach to the local store for info about recycling and find out whether pickup is available.

Are You A Creative Person?

If you feel crafty, there are tons of fun ideas for re-using or re-purposing old windows or window glass. You can create beautiful interior decorations or something for the outside. If you need inspirational ideas, Pinterest will help to generate plenty of them. 

Here are just a few interesting ideas you can try: 

Turn Old Windows Into Vintage Decor

Obviously, old windows don’t meet your standards for functionality and energy efficiency, but they can still have a place inside or outside of your house since they feature vintage charm. What can you do?

  • Create a window frame mirror, just replace window glass with a mirror 
  • Mount hardware or hooks to convert your old window into a coat rack
  • Attach pictures inside a window with divided panes of glass for a collage-style photo frame
  • Attach a piece of wood to the frame for a window display shelf.

Make A Garden View

Old windows can make wonderful outdoor decorations. 

Hang them at artistic angles to add beauty, shape, and structure to your garden; paint the frames with bright colours to make them pop among the greenery. 

How much window glass or windows with frames do you have? If a lot (e.g., the remains of your whole home window replacement), you can even build a greenhouse. 

To sum up, old windows and window glass can be used far beyond their initial purpose and especially not for rubbish. Through donation, various design options, recycling you can give your windows a second life or even a new home. 

So, the landfill is not an option at all, especially if you really care about the environment.

If you have any interesting ideas or thoughts on window glass recycling, leave your comment below! 

Posted in Around the House, DIY, Recycle, Recycling Ideas (with images). Bookmark the permalink.

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