It is the aim of the University, where practical, to recycle glass.

Pyrex and other high melting point glass

This type of glass, whether arising from a laboratory or other area, is unsuitable for recycling due to the high temperature at which it melts. Placing this type of glass into the recycling stream would result in the entire batch of glass with which it is mixed becoming unsuitable for recycling and this fact may not come to light until the batch is being commercially processed. It is therefore extremely important to ensure that these types of glass are not placed into the glass recycling bins.  Provided it is not contaminated with any substance that would result in it being classified as special waste (i.e. hazardous) these specialist glass types can be disposed in the general waste stream.

Glass from laboratory and other non-catering processes

Waste glass that is contaminated with hazardous materials, and is classified as special waste, must not be disposed through the general or recyclable waste stream. It may be possible to safely decontaminate the glass. If this is possible then the glass can be streamed for recycling. Glass for recycling should not be placed into the containers used for mixed recyclable waste. It should be deposited directly into the dedicated glass collection bins. These are sited at a number of locations including catering outlets, Joseph Black, West Medical and Cardiovascular Buildings on the main campus and outside the Henry Wellcome building at Garscube. If decontamination is not practicable then the glass must be disposed as special (i.e. hazardous) waste. Further information on identifying special waste and on how to dispose of special waste is available on SEPS web site.

Some points to note are:

  • Make sure that all containers that you dispose of are completely empty.
  • When disposing of glass bottles or containers be aware of the statements on the label. If the label indicates that the content was hazardous, and you have ensured that the container is fit for disposal through the recyclable glass waste route, you should score out any part of the label that implies that it is hazardous. This may include the name of the material it has held and any hazard symbols that are displayed on it.
  • Used microscope slides may be disposed through the glass recycling route provided they are not pyrex and any material (e.g. tissue sections, blood smears) that is on them is not hazardous.
  • If you generate a significant quantity of waste glass that is suitable for recycling, and there is no glass collection bin in your area, you should contact Estates & Buildings who will investigate if it is practical to make this provision in that area.

General note on handling waste glass

When collecting and handling glass for disposal you should ensure that it is suitably contained so as to avoid the risk of cuts and scratches to those dealing with it. In the case of non-hazardous glass, if it is not practical to immediately transfer waste glass to the relevant external bin, a robust collection container should be used for temporary storage. This container should be securely sealed prior to transporting directly to the external bin. Glass should never be placed in any bin where a bin liner is used if this liner is then removed and carried with no further protection being in place for the operator.

Waste glass must not be placed in the mixed recycling stream