How To Dispose of Broken Glass

When something as delicate and fragile as glass gets broken, it can be a cause for concern. How do you safely and responsibly get rid of the shards that have been created? 

You can take comfort in knowing that glass can be safely disposed of without causing any harm to the environment. 

Broken glass should be approached with the utmost care. Protective gloves and eyewear are a must when attempting to handle any shards. 

Wipe off all pieces with a damp cloth or paper towel, firmly securing them in a heavy-duty, sealed container such as a cardboard box or plastic bin

Don’t forget to label the container with “broken glass”, this is essential. Finally, deposit the glass in a glass recycling bin or take it to the nearest household hazardous waste collection center.

Things You’ll Need

Broken glass can be dangerous and needs to be handled with care. It is important to ensure you have the right equipment to dispose of it safely and correctly. Here are some of the items you’ll need when getting rid of broken glass:

  • Rubber gloves 
  • Safety Goggles
  • Sturdy cardboard box
  • Broom and dustpan 
  • Vacuum cleaner 
  • Multi-purpose cleaner
  • Tape 
  • Water 
  • Cloth

How To Dispose Of Broken Glass

Dispose of Broken Glass

Broken glass can be a dangerous hazard, and proper disposal is necessary in order to avoid possible harm. To help safely discard glass fragments, use the following steps as a guide.

  • Step 1. Before disposing of broken glass, it is important to wear protective gear such as gloves, safety glasses, and a long-sleeved shirt. This will help prevent any injuries from the broken glass.
  • Step 2. To avoid injury, take a broom and dustpan to sweep up any large pieces of glass that can be spotted with ease. Doing so can help minimize the risk of stepping on a hazardous shard.
  • Step 3. Vacuum the area with a vacuum cleaner to pick up any small pieces of glass that may have been missed with the broom and dustpan. 
  • Step 4. Place any glass pieces that have been collected into a sturdy cardboard box. Make sure that the box is securely closed so that the glass is not exposed. 
  • Step 5. A multi-purpose cleaner and water combo should be used to wipe down the place where the glass had been. Doing this will make sure that no traces of glass are left and the area is sparkling clean.
  • Step 6. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the area where the glass was located. This will help remove any residue from the glass and make sure that the area is clean. 
  • Step 7. To ensure safe transport, seal the box with either duct tape or masking tape. This will keep the box securely shut, allowing you to get it to where it needs to go.
  • Step 8. Securely affix a warning label onto the container to alert those who come across it that there is broken glass inside. This precaution will help ensure that no one endures any harm from unexpected encounters with the shards.
  • Step 9. Dispose of the box in the appropriate manner, either by taking it to the local recycling center or by putting it alongside the trash separately so that the garbage man can read and identify the label on the container and take it with them. In Prince Edward County, Ontario, it is a violation of the law to discard broken glass and other sharp objects in a trash bag or recycling bin. Doing so can lead to injury and costly fines, so it’s best avoided!
  • Step 10. Make sure you give your hands a thorough sudsing with soap and water to eradicate any lingering glass bits. Doing so will reduce the odds of transporting glass fragments to other areas.

How To Dispose Of Broken Glass That’s Too Big For The Bin

Dealing with broken glass that won’t fit in the bin can be a tricky endeavor. Here are a few pointers to help you get rid of large pieces of shattered glass in a safe and effective manner.

  • Step 1. You don’t want to cut yourself on the broken glass, so it’s important to make sure you are wearing a pair of thick, protective gloves before attempting to handle it.
  • Step 2. Next, use a hammer and tap the glass lightly to break it into smaller pieces. Be sure to use a hammer made of a soft material, such as rubber, so that it won’t shatter the glass into tiny shards. If possible, break the glass outside so that any shards that fly off won’t be a hazard to anyone inside.
  • Step 3. After the glass has been broken into small pieces, sweep them into a dustpan. 
  • Step 4. After you’ve swept the glass pieces into a dustpan, vacuum the area to pick up any shards that may have flown off.
  • Step 5. Place the glass pieces in a sealed plastic bag and tie them tightly. Make sure to double bag the glass to make sure it’s sealed tightly and can’t come out. Then put the bag in a sturdy container or a box and keep it away from children and pets.
  • Step 6. Secure the box lid closed with a layer of duct tape. This will help ensure that the broken glass stays contained and safe during transportation.
  • Step 7. Grab a marker and adorn the side of the box with a warning: “Broken Glass – Handle with Care!” to keep anyone encountering the box informed of the hazardous material inside.
  • Step 8. Discard the glass in an appropriate waste container. Most localities have designated areas for glass waste. If you’re unsure, contact your local waste management provider to find out where you should take the glass.

What To Avoid When Disposing Of Broken Glass

Broken Glass

It’s critical to take the proper steps when discarding broken glass to keep yourself and your property safe from harm. This section will provide helpful tips to ensure the process is as safe and efficient as possible.

  • Don’t go with bare hands: Broken glass can be sharp and cause a laceration if handled with bare hands. It is recommended to wear protective gloves and eye protection to avoid injury.
  • Don’t put glass in the regular trash: Glass should be placed in a plastic bag and tied shut, then disposed of in a waste bin specifically designed for glass. This will help reduce the risk of injury or property damage.
  • Avoid using a vacuum cleaner without a HEPA filter: Vacuums without a HEPA filter could be a hazardous threat to your space, as the tiny bits of glass from them could scatter around, thus increasing the likelihood of sustaining an injury.
  • Avoid throwing glass in the sink: Small pieces of glass should never be thrown in the sink or toilet. This can break the pipes, lead to clogs, and contaminate water sources.
  • Don’t break the glass in a public space: Breaking glass should never be done in a public space or near crosswalks, as it can put others in harm’s way. Doing so in an enclosed area like your backyard or garage is a much safer option.
  • Broken Glass shouldn’t be crushed: Crushing broken glass can create sharp, jagged edges that can cause serious injury. To protect against any harm, it is wise to discard the glass in larger chunks.
  • Don’t throw broken glass in compost or garden areas: Broken glass can easily be swallowed by animals, and birds, so should never be disposed of in compost or garden areas.


Can we recycle glass?

Yes, glass can be recycled. During the recycling process, the glass is cleaned and sorted by color, and then crushed into small pieces. The glass is then melted down and molded into new products, such as bottles and jars. This helps to conserve natural resources, reduce energy consumption and keep waste out of landfills. WWF reports that if the glass is recycled, it can significantly reduce air pollution by 20% and water pollution by a whopping 50%. So, it’s a no-brainer – recycling glass should be the preferred choice.

Can broken glass go in the bin?

No, broken glass should not be put in the bin. Broken glass is considered hazardous waste and should be disposed of in an appropriate manner. Common methods for disposing of broken glass include taking it to a local recycling center or hazardous waste facility, wrapping it in newspaper or cardboard, and placing it in a bin for disposal at the curb.

Final Verdict

Disposing of broken glass does not have to be a stressful process. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily and safely get rid of broken glass, giving you peace of mind and freeing up space in your home.

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