Recycled glass

Along with the rest of the country we have been given a green recycling box into which glass, plastic and tin cans should be put. The contents are then tipped into a lorry and taken off somewhere.

I imagined the contents would be then dumped onto a conveyor and sorted by hand into glass, plastic and tin piles. These would then be recycled.

Apparently, it’s not as simple as that. The glass is not recycled into new glass, it is transported to Germany and forms a part of their new road building scheme. The reason being that the glass is multi coloured. To recycle into new glass it has to be uniform in colour, that is why at the large recycling depots there are clear, green and brown glass skips.

So why can’t they sort glass into colours at the recycling plant? Is it too much trouble? Or is there no environmental advantage in having recycled glass as opposed to a new road surface?

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