Asked on Oct 11, 2017

What is a safe way to break up glass?



We can no longer recycle glass in our area and the thought of all that going into the landfill makes me ill so I need a way to break it up to at least reduce the volume. I put some bottles in a couple plastic grocery bags and that inside a canvas bag with a coating on the outside, then took a hammer to it, but shards managed to rip thru the canvas. Any ideas besides going to the Army-Navy surplus store and buying something made from kevlar? A large galvanized or heay plastic container and a maul? Goggles, of course. Thanks.

6 answers
  • Kate
    on Oct 11, 2017

    Piece of wood between glass and bag? Probably should only do a small amount at a time. Drop the bottles in a bag first to get the pieces smaller to start off with.
  • Sarah Barganier
    on Oct 11, 2017

    Break them in a plastic or metal can that you get just for that use. You can crush larger pieces with weight to make them smaller.
  • I would leave in its original form. You have no idea how many trash pickers are at your local dump, they pick out items to be recycled and will drive to an area that does recycle and get money for it.
    • Wow! Good to know. So sorry your state does not see value in this. Ok, another way would be to offer to crafters. People love free stuff. I am on, a great way to find - and get rid of unwanted items. Any local community boards you had post signs on? Facebook is another way too, I am not a Facebook user so I do not know to do this, but many others out there do and can help you. is another good site too.
  • Castrang17
    on Oct 11, 2017

    i think the Army Surplus store is your best for heavy duty items. But your container idea would work too. Or call your county office/extension office and see what they suggest, they may surprise you with ideas or know of projects. My thoughts are the same as yours when recycling is discontinued.
  • FL
    on Oct 11, 2017

    First, bring less glass into your home. Second, try to find a home for the glass by offering it free on craigslist or local ads. Someone may have a use for it! Third, I am afraid that breaking glass into shards before disposing is going to pose danger to anyone who comes near it and over-wrapping it just adds to the waste. I would put a few pieces (unbroken) in each bag of trash and write letters to anyone involved in that near-sighted decision to not recycle glass anymore.
    • Celia Jennings Bolton
      on Oct 11, 2017

      If you look up above at my response to Naomi Moore, you'll see why we can't recycle it. It was too successful. A paradox, but that's the way the free market operates.

      Trying to think of ways to buy less glass but the first things that come to mind are plastic, which I don't like, and we can recycle dome of that (only 1s and 2s), and I'm not buying wine in a box or the new wine in cans - can recycle cans, tho. Unless they're the vegetable cans with the white lining. Plastic food bags, like from frozen vegetables - can't. Paper with any kind of waxy coating on it, like some frozen vegetable boxes - can't.

      Advertising to give away is excellent. Many clever people make crafts from glass.
  • Emily
    on Oct 11, 2017

    The danger to you from broken glass is greater than the landfill you worry about. How do you know your area does not recycle glass? At our transfer station we see those big containers (like on fixer upper)filled with glass and we marvel at how eventually the glass will be reground to a sand like consistency. Our town recycles everything! My pet landfill peeve is plastic poop filled diapers. How hard can it be to separate the paper lining with the poop from the plastic?
    • Celia Jennings Bolton
      on Oct 11, 2017

      Everybody was notified by their cities that glass is no longer accepted and those in the counties were notified by their private trash haulers and told to put in their trash cans, ie, going to the landfill. Those big recycling containers have signs on them saying no glass. Can I bring mine to you?

      My brother in law works on a cruise ship and he said there's a big machine that grinds up all their glass and it's dumped overboard. Normally, I don't condone dumping anything in the ocean but glass is made from sand and it's being returned to sand in this way.
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