Glass recycling in the hospitality sector

Businesses operating in the hospitality sector, such as hotels and restaurants, produce over 3.4 million tonnes of waste each year. Approximately 650 thousand tonnes of this is glass waste, which equates to the same weight as 90,000 London buses. According to Recycle Now, 200,000 tonnes of glass is thrown into landfills.

Positive measures need to be put into place to increase the amount of glass that is collected for recycling and the proportion of this glass that goes into re-melt.

Why is Glass Recycling So Important?

Glass is 100% recyclable meaning it can be continuously recycled without reducing its quality. In the hospitality sector, glass is used for many things in many forms, such as soft drinks, wine and liquor bottles and glasses for other beverages.

One way that glass recycling benefits the environment is that for every ton of glass recycled, over a ton of natural resources are saved. Other ways that glass recycling benefits the environment are:

  • Protecting the environment, cutting o2 emissions and saving raw materials
  • Helping to save money by lessening the energy demand
  • Stopping the landscape looking dirty and drained
  • Making you feel good by doing something so simple and making such a huge impact 

Glass Recycling Basics

European countries such as France and Switzerland are paving the way for glass recycling, as they currently recycle around 90% of their glass. The UK is falling short of this impressive figure, currently only recycling around 50% of its glass. In the UK, glass is most commonly collected via bottle banks or kerbside waste/recycling collection. Once collected, the glass is re-melted in furnaces in order to produce new containers and bottles.  Glass can take millions of years to decompose and usually contains limestone, soda ash, sand and other additives.

How is Glass Recycled?

Glass is recycled using a system referred to as ‘closed loop’ which turns the material back to its original form once it has been recycled. Once collected, the glass is then transported to a treatment plant where it gets sorted to ensure that the best cullet is available for re-processing.

Once the glass is at the treatment plant, contaminates are removed and huge magnets remove steel cans and other lightweight objects. The materials are then put into sorting machines using vibrating feeders and the different colours of glass are separated into flint, amber and green glass.

Following on from this, the material is crushed to size in glass furnaces. This process is referred to as ‘re-melt’ and the glass is turned into bottles and jars to sell on to the consumer market.

Not all types of glass can be recycled. You cannot recycle:

  • Ceramics (e.g. tea and coffee cups).
  • Crystal
  • Cookware such as Pyrex
  • Light bulbs
  • Mirror and window glass

All of the materials above contain different impurities that mean that the glass cannot be re-melted.

How Do You Set Up a Hospitality Business Recycling Scheme?

In order to increase the amount of glass recycled, more effective schemes need to be put into place in busy and popular hospitality businesses.

In order to get started with your hospitality business recycling scheme, finding an effective and reliable waste contractor is the first thing that needs to be done. The following questions should be considered:

  • Does the recycling service provider cater for the size of your business?
  • How much storage space will you need for the recycling containers and bins?
  • How does the contractor service charge?
  • Will your glass be collected mixed or will you need to separate them into appropriate colours/types?
  • Will the recycling service collect the glass or will you need to drop it off at the recycling facility?

You will also need to ensure that your recycling scheme will work with your business. The following should be considered:

  • All of your staff and guests and ensure that they are informed about the new glass recycling schemes so that they have the appropriate training and understanding
  • The location and labeling of the recycling containers
  • Set up regular collections or drop offs with your waste contractor
  • Plan how to launch and promote your new recycling plan through demonstrations and emails
  • Ensure that everyone involved understands the importance of glass recycling and the cost benefits it will have on the business itself

Glass recycling is incredibly easy to do with such great benefits to both the environment and your business so why not put together a simple, cost effective hospitality Business Recycling scheme to help you increase the amount of glass that you recycle!

ACM can help your business to set up a complete, cost-effective service for managing your recyclable waste. We can conduct an audit of the existing recycling measures in place, identify areas of improvement and assess space available for the introduction of a new waste recycling scheme and the equipment. We can offer advice and help to arrange the collection, transport and processing of your recyclable glass for all businesses in the hospitality sector so why not give us a call?  08700 777 555


Free downloadable guide

Check out our free Top 8 commercial recycling tips that will obliterate your business waste


Quick Quote
Please complete the form below and we'll get back to you with a quote...
Additional Collections...
Please enter any additional collections below (if required) and click next...
Additional Collections...
Please enter any additional collections below (if required) and click next...

* Required field