Recycling Broken or Damaged Windshield Glass

Damaged windshield glass can still be repurposed to keep them from landfills. While the process is intricate, there are many ways to turn old and worn-out windshields into useful items. Over the years, millions of windshields have been salvaged from landfills and turned into amazing pieces of art. However, it requires a special approach that only a few recycling centers can handle.

What makes windshield glass special?

Unlike typical glass, those used for windshields are actually called ‘safety glass’. It’s made to withstand a sheer amount of force during impact. Such a characteristic prevents windshield glass from shattering and injuring the passengers.

The special film embedded in the middle of the windshield acts as a bonding agent. While the glass will still crack, most of the shards will remain clinging to the center film. In general, this will reduce the likelihood of serious injuries or even death.

However, windshields aren’t invincible to damages. Once it sustains large cracks, you’ll have to pay for a replacement. Meanwhile, the old windshield will either go to a landfill or a recycling center.

Recycling windshield glass

When a damaged windshield is removed from the car, it will usually go to a recycling center. At the facility, the glass material will be separated from the plastic film it has in the middle.

Once the glass is removed from the plastic film, it will be grounded and melted into its base form. From there, it can be made into vases, figurines, bottles, and auto glass material. This prevents your old windshield from piling up in landfills or junkyards.

Thanks to technological advancements, the windshield glass is now easy to repurpose and recycle. The more windshields that can be recycled, the better it would be for the environment.

However, windshields are more difficult to recycle due to the plastic film in the middle called PVB. It requires additional processes and special equipment. The good news is that modern machines are now equipped to handle this kind of material.

Take note that recycling damaged windshields by installing them into another car is a big no. If you’re opting for used windshields, make sure that it’s not heavily damaged or poorly repaired.

Who recycles damaged windshields?

A local recycling center near you can collect the damaged windshields. Your local auto shop may also have a partner recycling center where they bring damaged auto glass.

The last thing you want to do is dump the windshield glass in the trash. First, it’s dangerous for the people who will be collecting the garbage. Also, it’s such a waste to throw a durable type of glass.

Moreover, many auto glass companies and auto shops enter into agreements with recycling centers. This saves them from the hassle of thinking about where to bring damaged windshields that are beyond repair.


Recycling broken or damaged windshields is now possible as modern technologies made repurposing laminated glass much easier and cheaper. Many auto glass manufacturers have also started to partner with recycling companies to reduce windshields on landfills.

This is a win-win situation for car owners, manufacturers, and auto shops. There’s literally no reason not to recycle damaged windshields.