Glass Recycling

December 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Recycle

In Singapore, 73,500 tonnes of glass waste was generated in 2013 and the recycling rate is 20%. Glass waste is usually sorted and exported overseas for recycling as there are no glass recycling plants in Singapore.

Let’s take a closer look at glass recycling:

1. Types of Glass for Recycling

Glass bottles, jars, containers and glass sheets are collected and sorted into the different colours for recycling: Clear, Brown and Green.

2. Why Recycle Glass

There are environmental benefits to glass recycling. According to Waste Online:

If recycled glass is used to make new bottles and jars, the energy needed in the furnace is greatly reduced. After accounting for the transport and processing needed, 315kg of CO2 is saved per tonne of glass melted.

For every tonne of recycled glass used, 1.2 tonnes of raw materials are preserved.

Recycling reduces the amount of waste glass which needs to be landfilled. Although glass is inert and is not directly hazardous to the environment, it will remain there indefinitely.

3. The Glass Recycling Process

At the glass recycling plant, glass waste is sorted into different colours and crushed into small pieces called cullets. Contaminants such as paper and metal are removed, and the cullet is melted in a high temperature furnance. The molten cullet is then molded to form glass products.

Watch this animation video on the glass recycling process from RecycleBank:


4. Recycled Glass Products

Glass waste can be recycled continuously and made into new glass products like bottles, jars, containers and ornaments. The glass cullet can also be crushed into powder and used as material in making bricks, tiles, abrasives and replacement of sand.

Watch this video on how abrasives are made from recycled glass cullet powder:


5. Glass Recycling in Singapore

In Singapore, 73,500 tonnes of glass waste was generated in 2013 and the recycling rate is 20%. Glass waste is usually collected through the recycling programmes. The glass waste is sorted and exported overseas for recycling as there are no glass recycling plants in Singapore.

It is also common for beer bottles to be collected from restaurants, hotels and food outlets for reuse in a local brewery (not included in the recycling figures).

6. Collectors, Traders and Recycling Companies for Glass

To find a recycling collector or someone who wants your glass waste, check out NEA’s list of collectors and traders.

For companies, you can use the online business waste exchange, Waste is not Waste, to find someone who wants your waste.

7. What Can I Do

You can recycle glass bottles and containers through the various recycling programmes at home, in school and your office, or through the public recycling bins. But before you do so, remember to Reduce and Reuse your glass waste.

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32 Responses to “Glass Recycling”
  1. Gwendolyn Lee says:

    I would like to ask you where can i recycle my glass bottles because i have many glass bottles at home but don’t know what to do with it!

  2. NomNom says:

    1. olive oil glass bottle can recycle? it’s emptied but do i hv to wash it? wil b a waste of water if i wash it. so shall i just throw into rubbish bin if i need to wash? it’s a waste to throw them like tat, ‘cos they r really good quality glass. didn’t see it stated on Can Recycle list.

    2. fluorescent lighting tubes can’t b recycled, what abt light bulbs? same logic.. can’t also? didn’t see it stated on the Can Recycle list too.

    3. how do i put glass into recycle bag? shall i put them into a plastic bag before i put them into the recycle bag? tis point is not mentioned or pointed out anywhere, shan’t we put into a plastic bag 1st, so that wen the collectors collect & throw the bags, the glass inside wil smash but not mix with other materials, & also not to hurt the p’ple who sort the materials.

  3. Govin says:

    I would like to start a glass recycling biz. Where can I sell them and any advice?


  4. NY039 says:

    Hi, we are working on a project concerning the wastage of glass. Could you provide us with some evidence of glass being significantly wasted in Singapore? Thanks so much πŸ™‚

  5. Phew says:

    Hi where can I sell my glass waste for cash?

  6. BH Cheng says:

    Glass recycling plant in Singapore or the region
    Yes! I have one potential UK investor that are looking to business opportunity here. I too like the idea and are looking for locals conglomerate with such interest. I will arrange a meeting and presentation if needed. Any chance you can lead me to it ?

  7. Franbelgar says:

    I’ve been collecting glass bottles from my cafe for a couple of months and brought it to a recycling company in Kranji to sell. To my surprise they not only didn’t want to pay me anything but they wanted to charge me for “disposal”! Is that possible? I spoke to the manager who told me that it is because they don’t do the actual recycling in Singapore and that it needs to be sent to Malaysia. It doesn’t make sense to me. How is that different from recycling paper or metal? Why would anyone bother transporting waste glass to a collection facility instead of dumping it together with regular refuse?

    • Marcus Tay says:

      Yes it is true – we have to pay for glass bottle recycling.

      Why would any one do it? Because what we pay for glass bottle recycling may still be cheaper than throwing it away as rubbish at $76 per tonne.

  8. Shan says:

    I feel that if supplier can collect back the bottles eg bird nest,chicken essence bottles, They are thick, won’t break easily, just rinse, put it back into the box and pass to the shop, like before, they use to collect drink bottles back.

  9. Sarah says:

    Do glass recycling companies/collectors require the bottles to be unbroken/unshattered when given to them?

  10. Karen says:

    Hi, can a tempered glass table top be recycled?

  11. Leslie Ang(Mr) says:

    Dear everyone, I’ve recently started to grow hydrponic plants and have been using plastic food containers.If however, I may receive anyone’s kind contributions of glss jars or bottles or jars, I will be happy to have them cleaned andrefashioned into pretty recrafted or painted) jars for plants in hope of promoting both the aesthetic and health benefits of having indoor plants.
    If anyone is willing to donate their glassbottles to me for recycling, please contact me at [email protected] so we may coordinate pickup according to your convenience.
    Thanks much! cheers to zero waste and an even greener indoor Singapore!

  12. Rebecca says:

    Hi. Can Brand’s chicken bottle be recycled as glass ? It has a plastic ring around the neck after the plastic cover is removed ? Thanks.

  13. ming says:


    Can I recycle nail polish bottle through the public recycle bin? they are free of Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) and Toluene, Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor.

  14. Erick says:

    I’m looking for investors to Namibia, i have venue work shop for recycling

  15. Neelesh Rai says:

    Hi I would like to place a blue recycling bin in my bar , as we have alot of glass bottles and metal cans , located at 33 hendon road, can someone link me to the correct person to contact about this , thanks

  16. Eunice says:

    Hi i have cutlery set in glassware.i would like to give away.pls let me know.tks.eunice.

  17. Evonne says:

    may i know where can i purchase these unwanted glass bottles, or if there is anywhere i can purchase Recycled glass bottles?

  18. PHILIPPA says:

    What actually happens to glass that is given for recycling in Singapore ?? The incomplete info given above is from 2008/2013 and so may well be out of date, and there is no info available from a quick google search.

    Does the govt pay for the glass to recycled in Johor ? NB that there doesn’t seem to be any free glass recycling available anywhere in Malaysia. According to one environmentally-aware resort on Pulau Sibu, they take the glass to Pasir Gudang and pay a factory there for recycling it.

    Or does it go straight to the incinerator and then into landfill ?

    So what actually happens to the glass that is put into the recycling bins here ??? Thanks for any insight into this, as there is only so much can be reduced or reused.

  19. Philippa Atkinson says:

    Hi I’m trying to find out what happens to glass recycling in Singapore ? It is very hard to find glass recycling in Malaysia, so not sure if that’s where it goes, and if government pays for that service ?? Or does it go straight to the incinerator ?

    Does anyone know ? The information on here is very out of date.


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