Glass recycling

Learn more about the glass recycling process and why some items can't go in your recycling cart.

Glass recycling process

For a glass item to be recyclable in your cart it must have contained a food or beverage when purchased or be designed to hold a food or beverage (mason jar).

Glass is one of the first items sorted out at the recycling facility. Glass falls off the sorting line at the same time cardboard is sorted out. It falls and goes through a glass crusher. Anything less than 3" in size will also end up with the glass. At the sorting facility, air jets are used to remove as much shredded paper and other lighter contaminants (like plastics) as possible. The crushed glass is sorted into three different sizes. 

Glass is loaded into a semi-truck and brought to Strategic Materials in St. Paul. Strategic Materials uses a lot of magnets, eddy currents and opticals sorters to remove all contamination from the crushed glass. Glass is also sorted into three different colors. It's also sorted by size. 

  • Flint (clear)
  • Amber (brown)
  • Blue and green

Clean glass is either turned back into new bottles or used for other purposes like sandblasting media or fiberglass insulation. The closest glass recycler to our area is Anchor Glass in Shakopee who uses flint (clear) glass to make new bottles and jars. 

Watch a video of the recycling sorting process or sign up to tour the recycling facility

Glass that can't go in your recycling cart

Any glass item that did not contain a food or beverage when purchased should go in the garbage. These items have additives that make them not recyclable with food and beverage glass containers.

  • Drinking glasses
  • Window glass
  • Ceramics
  • Pyrex 
  • Ceramics
  • Mirrors

Contact us

Solid Waste & Recycling





Eastside Maintenance Facility

2635 University Ave NE

Minneapolis, MN 55418

Office hours

8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday

This building is closed to the public.