Although windshields are made of incredibly strong glass, it can still shatter in the event of a major accident. Falling objects and blunt force will also send auto glass shattering into pieces. After the replacement, the shattered glass can be turned into something else.
Recycling a broken or damaged windshield includes various processes. Still, a glass company made it happen by recycling 4 million damaged windshields so they won’t end up in landfills
Why windshield glass is special
Unlike the glass used on auto windows, windshields are made to be stronger. This is the reason why it’s also called the “safety glass”. Basically, a windshield is made up of two layers of glass that allows it to endure intense force and pressure.
In the event that the windshield shatters or breaks, a special plastic layer will hold the pieces together so they won’t go flying in the passengers’ direction. This plastic layer is called polyvinyl butyral which flexes instead of breaks whenever it experiences an intense force. Having these layers together is crucial to prevent the pieces of the broken windshield from becoming deadly projectiles.
Recycling damaged windshields
During the recycling phase, the glass will be removed from the plastic layer. The bare glass will then be grounded to its original form. It will be melted in order to create new glass products like bottles and other glass-based items.
This is done so damaged windshields won’t clog landfills and injure people who work around the area. As you may know, glass takes one million years to decompose. Instead, it can be turned into vases, bowls, glasses, and more. Even artists can use it in their work including sculptures, window art, and glass mosaic. And since windshield glass is durable, many people are looking for ways to use it in different applications.
Reusing damaged windshields is a recommended move. Thanks to advanced technologies, there are tons of ways to repurpose a shattered windshield.
Where you can send broken windshields
Usually, the auto repair shops will offer to dispose of your old windshield after the replacements and repairs are done. But if not, you can call your local glass recycling center and donate or possibly sell the windshield.
Your local recycling center may have access to bigger facilities that process this type of glass. Sending it to them is also a good way to reduce your carbon footprints and automotive waste in your area.
It’s no secret that environmental concerns have been growing over the years. Although it’s just one broken windshield, you can take part in the advocacy to reduce waste and recycle what can still be used. Ask your auto repair shop if they have a program regarding the repurposing of old and damaged glass they collect from customers.
Also, damaged windshields can be melted and made into new auto glass. This reduces glass wastes while keeping the cost of replacements more affordable for car owners. This is an ideal situation for you, the auto shop, and the environment. So the next time that you’ll have your windshield replaced, consider sending the damaged one to a recycling center.