Glass is one of the few materials that can be recycled infinitely without losing strength, purity or quality. Glass bottles and jars are collected in most U.S. communities at the curb. You can also recycle glass bottles and jars at drop-off collection sites and through container deposit programs in 10 states.
Frequent Glass Bottles & Jars Recycling Questions
Does the color of glass affect the recyclability of bottles & jars?
All colors of glass bottles and jars are recyclable. However, depending on where you live, you may need to separate the containers by color. If you have single-stream recycling, this will be done for you at a recycling facility.
If your curbside recycling program requires you to separate glass by color, though, be sure to do so because colored glass will be used to make more glass of a similar color, and mixing colors could cause contamination.
Does the shape of the bottle or jar affect its recyclability?
No, bottles and jars are recyclable regardless of shape.
Is there a bottle bill in my state? If so, how does it work?
Currently, 10 states have bottle bills: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Vermont. Generally speaking, bottle bills require deposits on beverage containers at the time of purchase, and then individuals can receive all or part of this deposit back by returning the bottles for recycling.
Can I get money for collecting and recycling glass bottles and jars?
If you live in a state that has a bottle bill, you can get money for recycling glass beverage containers. Typically, individuals will receive five or 10 cents back for each qualifying bottle returned to a participating retail store or recycling center.
Do restaurants and bars recycle glass bottles and jars?
This depends on the business. Some states require that any establishment with an Alcoholic Beverage Permit recycle these containers, while others do not. Many bars and restaurants choose to recycle on their own. If you’re curious about a specific business, ask the manager about their recycling policies.