It seems that not all glass is equal. When you break a drinking glass, or a window, you can’t just add it to your kerbside recycling along with the glass bottles and jars you’re sending off for another life. Although it all looks the same to us, glass made for different purposes has different melting points and slightly different combinations of ingredients. If a drinking glass or window shard were to make it through to OI (the plant where glass bottles and jars are made) it would contaminate the batch resulting in defects in the final products.
In Auckland, Auckland Glass Recycling (AGR) used to collect skips of dedicated window glass and sell it for $140/tonne to Tasman Insulation ( Pink Batts). Until recently householders were able to drop off small quantities at ARG skips. However, Fletchers, who own Tasman, have now taken over that work and they will only deal with a few large glaziers / industries. AGR are still in business but only get $15 /tonne by selling it to Fulton Hogan etc for roading aggregate – this price crash means collecting small household lots is no longer affordable.
In Auckland it seems that there is no option other than wrapping the broken glass in many layers of newspaper, taping it and sending it to the landfill. We think this is the case for the rest of the country too. If you know anything else please let us know and we’ll update this page.