Can You Recycle Glass Tabletops

Can You Recycle Glass Table Tops?

When it comes to recycling glass, it is important to know that there are certain glass items that are accepted for recycling while others might not be taken in by your curbside recycling program. Glass bottles, jars, and glass food containers are readily taken in for recycling, while large glass items like glass table tops, window glass, mirrors, and other large glass pieces might not be accepted.

Can Glass Bottles Be Recycled?
Can Glass Bottles Be Recycled?

You can recycle glass table tops. They have a melting point that is higher than normal container glass due to chemicals that are added to increase their durability. This means that they aren’t accepted at all recycling centers, so check before you try to drop them off.

Glass table tops and other large glass items have a different chemical composition from the standard glass used in containers. Since they have been treated with chemicals to make them more durable, they have different melting points than container glass.

This is the reason why they are usually not accepted for recycling along with container glass because they will contaminate the entire load due to the variation in melting points. There are, however, separate ways of recycling glass table tops and other treated glass.

How to Recycle Glass Table Tops

Since glass table tops have been treated with chemicals to make them more durable, their chemical composition and hence the melting point differs from container glass. They are not accepted in regular container glass recycling facilities.

There are separate recycling facilities where they are taken for recycling. Remember, since the policy for recycling glass table tops and large glass items varies from place to place, it is best you get in touch with your municipality to know if they will accept them.

Here are some steps that you can follow to ensure that the glass table top that you don’t have any use for is recycled and put to good use again.

When Was The First Flat Glass Tabletop Made?

The first glass tabletops started showing up in the 1600’s as glass manufacturing progressed enough to produce plate glass.

Step 1: Check With Your Local Recycling Center

After you’ve considered recycling your glass table top, you will want to know if your municipality will accept it. You will have to get in touch with them to know if they will take in your table top. Since the recycling conditions and facilities are different for a large treated glass like a glass tabletop, you might also come to know that your municipality does not accept such glass.

There is also the likely situation that your municipality accepts such glass but has some restrictions on the dimensions of the glass. If the table top does not meet the dimensions, you will have to look for other options.

If your municipality accepts the glass for recycling, they might ask you to bring it to the facility yourself because the regular trucks for recycling pickup might not be equipped to handle such nonstandard items. In all these cases you will get a clear understanding of whether your glass table top can be recycled and if yes, then how you can proceed with the recycling process.

How Much Is The Flat Glass Market In The United States Worth?

The Flat Glass market in the U.S. is estimated to be worth $43.7 billion by 2025.

Step 2: Check the Quality of the Glass

Once you’ve got the okay from the local authorities that your glass is good to be recycled, you will have to be sure to check the quality of the glass on your glass table top. What you must be looking for is damages to the glass.

If the glass is cracked or pitted, it might not be useful for recycling. Even if there are discolorations they might be turned down.

So, make sure that your glass is not broken and that it does not have any discolorations. You can even ask about this on your call with the recycling facility where you can get a confirmation from them.

Which Country Produces The Most Glass?

China is the world’s largest producer of glass.

Step 3: Wrap the Glass

Once you’ve ensured the intactness of the table top, you will have to wrap the glass carefully before it can be given to the recycling facility. To do this, if you still have the whole glass table top intact with the glass not removed, you might consider wrapping it completely without breaking the glass.

If the glass is removed from the table top, you can wrap it in cardboard and use bubble wrap on top to be sure that the glass does not break. You don’t want to either put yourself or the sanitation workers at risk by breaking the glass. Be extra careful when you are wrapping up the glass and be sure to wear gloves to ensure your protection.

Step 4: Drive to the Recycling Facility or Get a Pickup Option

Based on the interaction you had with the municipal authorities, you might be either prompted to drive and drop the glass at a recycling facility or a pickup can happen. If you are asked to drive and drop the glass table top, you will have to make sure that the wrapping of the glass is strong enough to hold the glass for the duration of your travel to drop at the recycling facility.

If you get the option for pickup of your glass table top, be sure to add a label on top of the cardboard box used for packing to mark the item inside as glass. A simple “Glass for disposal” will be sufficient and sanitation workers will be able to handle the box carefully knowing that the item inside is glass being sent for disposal.

You will have to place your labeled box near the curbside recycle container with the labeled side facing outward so that it is easy for the pickup workers to spot your box and load it into the truck to be taken away for recycling.

The glass table tops that are sent for recycling are separately recycled due to their different chemical composition and melting point. They are crushed and melted in a furnace at very high temperatures.

After the process of melting, they are blown into containers, drawn into flat sheets, manufactured into fiber optics, or spun into fiberglass. The advantage of using glass is that it is 100% recyclable and you can get new glass items made that can be used until they can be recycled again.

Where to Recycle Glass Table Tops

The usual places that recycle glass are the local recycling centers in the area where you live. Usually, you can find information about the centers by searching the web.

Make sure they recycle glass table tops because a lot of small facilities do not have the ability to recycle items like glass table tops. If this is the case, you can get in touch with your municipality to know the alternative available to recycle your glass.

You might also find a construction and demolition recycler who is near you who can process glass table tops, windows, mirrors, and other large glass materials. However, they only accept items in bulk so you will either have to be a contractor or someone who has ties with the recycler. If not, you will have to book a bulk pickup with your municipality’s solid waste pickups for windows, mirrors, and treated glass materials.

Repurposing Glass Table Tops

One of the best ways to ensure that the glass table top of yours is put to good use is to repurpose it. You might not need the round glass table top to be used as a table top but you can easily find other utilities for it.

The whole concept of DIY gets more exciting with the various possibilities with a round glass table top. We will look at a few repurpose use cases for you to get an understanding of the ways you can make the glass top work for you.

Stained Glass Mosaic Wall Light

Breathe a new lease of life into your old round glass top by making it a beautiful stained glass mosaic wall light. You will need a glass base, few adhesives, grout, and the tools that are needed to work with the glass base.

Use glass cutters to make the cuts and pliers to break off the glass pieces. You may make straight and curved lines according to the design you’re looking to bring to life.

When you have cut out and brought all the pieces from the base, you will have to make use of the adhesives to glue them up and add to the round glass table top according to the design you were inspired to create. Finally, use LED strip lights for the backlighting to bring your inspiration to life.

Stained Glass Suncatcher

If the round table top is not very big, you can use it as a beautiful stained glass suncatcher. All you need is stained glass paint and some imagination to create a stained glass that can be used as a suncatcher.

You can either lean it against a fence or against your window to catch the rays of the sun. A quick and easy way to repurpose your round glass table top.

We believe that we have given you some ideas for repurposing your old glass table top. With a little bit of creativity, you can always find new uses for your round glass table top and never need to consider recycling it again.


Glass table tops contain different chemicals compared to regular container glass which makes them melt at a higher temperature. Because of this, not all recycling centers will accept them. You also can’t mix them with glass that has a lower melting point.

If recycling isn’t available in your area, you can always try to repurpose the table top to keep it from going to a landfill.