Glass is an inorganic, hard, brittle and transparent material obtained at around 1500ºC from silica sand, sodium carbonate and limestone. It constitutes approximately 10% of municipal MSW, but its selective recovery still allows for some room for improvement.
For the purposes of glass once recycled, there are different types, as the treatment given to them at the end of their useful life is very different.
In this new article of PICVISA’s blog, we will show you the different types of recycled glass, as well as the different parts of the recycling process.
What types of recycled glass are there?
- Glass from packaging
All glass that comes from packaging that, once it has reached the end of its useful life, is deposited in the green container. (Bottles, cans, etc.).
- Glass used in buildings
This type of glass comes from the demolition of buildings. Its recovery is particularly complicated.
- Laminated glass
Laminated glass is manufactured by joining two or more sheets of glass, joined by one or more intermediate sheets of polyvinyl butyral (PVB), which provide strength, elasticity and adhesion.
- Other glass (glasses, cups, TV monitors, PC monitors, etc.)
There is a part of the glass obtained that cannot be recycled for the manufacture of new packaging, such as LED screens or PC monitors. However, they become a new waste (e-waste), which can be put to an alternative use.
- Waste from the glass recycling process
This type of glass refers to the 6% surplus cullet that we obtain during the recycling process. This waste may not be recoverable, but it can be used for the manufacture of new products.
Now you know what types of recycled glass there are, but:
Do you know where the glass containers you put in the green bins in your city end up?
The glass recycling cycle
- When glass packaging reaches the end of its useful life, the consumer deposits it in the green container.
- This is where the process begins. The green containers are mono-material, i.e. they are collected in lorries that only transport glass packaging waste. These containers will be transported to glass treatment and recovery plants.
- The recycling plant – this is where we come in
The glass packaging waste is separated, cleaned without the use of water, freed of impurities and crushed into small fragments: the cullet, which is used to feed the glass furnaces for the subsequent manufacture of new containers.
To facilitate this process, at PICVISA we have our ECOGLASS optical separation equipment, which, thanks to its applied technology based on Artificial Vision, identifies and separates materials according to their chemical composition, shapes and colours with versatility, speed and precision.
With a capacity of 6 tn/h input to line (4.5 tn/h input to optics), these machines receive refining rejects, from which they are able to separate glass from materials such as CSP (ceramics, stones and porcelain) and other unsuitable materials.
The quality of the resulting product is glass with less than 5% fines of less than 10 mm, with less than 0.7% of porcelain, stone, and ceramics, and less than 2% of impurities according to Ecovidrio parameters. A high level of precision and efficiency that represents a leap in value for the process.
- Glass packaging factory
The glassmakers acquire the cullet to melt it and manufacture new containers. The use of calcine contributes directly to energy savings, as it lowers the melting temperature and reduces CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, as well as reducing the number of raw materials used in manufacturing.
The packaging companies fill the glass containers with their products and they are ready to be labelled and put back into the retail chain.
The new containers arrive in bars, restaurants and shops in towns and cities. So, after buying and consuming them, we can recycle them and start the cycle all over again.
ECOGLASS, optical glass separation par excellence
Within the glass recycling cycle, it is important to obtain an accurate classification in order to obtain effective separation results that ensure the recovery of the material.
At PICVISA we work incorporating the latest technology based on Artificial Intelligence and Vision and Deep Learning to our equipment. Therefore, our ECOGLASS optical separator allows us to automatically classify and separate various types of materials by composition (NIR), colour (VIS) and/or shape. These models are explicitly designed to work in glass recovery and cleaning processes in different flows, designed in a versatile concept of easy adaptation to different processes where the material is crushed and requires versatility, speed and accuracy in the identification, separation or cleaning by colour and shape criteria.
Al adquirir un equipo ECOGLASS, los clientes también pueden optar por convertir a PICVISA en su partner tecnológico, una unión beneficiosa que les proporciona confianza y estabilidad frente a sus nuevas estrategias de negocio, un paso esencial hacia el éxito.
When purchasing ECOGLASS equipment, customers can also choose to make PICVISA their technological partner, a beneficial union that gives them confidence and stability in their new business strategies, an essential step towards success.