Your Complete Guide to Safely Disposing of Broken Glass

One of the most common garbage materials is broken glass. Whether it’s a wine glass, an old vase, or even parts of a shattered window, the risk of broken glass at home is unfortunately everywhere. But did you know that not many people know how to dispose of broken glass properly?

That’s right—it’s not as simple as sweeping it up and dumping it in the bin. Disposing of broken glass requires taking a few steps to ensure that the shards don’t damage other items in the garbage bin, and the people who will handle it won’t get injured in the process.

Check out our step-by-step guide to disposing of broken glass safely, from picking it up off the floor, all the way to your garbage collection bin. Plus, get answers to the most common questions about recycling broken glass:

How to Dispose of Broken Glass at Home

  1. Wrap the broken glass
    After sweeping the shards off the floor, you can’t just dump them directly in the bin. Instead, you’ll need a piece of old cloth that can handle the amount of broken glass. Make sure to secure the cloth wrapping with some tape to keep small, hazardous pieces from falling out. Wondering why you can’t just wrap the shards in another material such as newspaper? The shards can easily cut through the paper and cause injuries during handling.
  2. Break-up larger pieces
    Once you wrap the glass in cloth and secure it, you can also break the shards into smaller pieces for easier handling. You can use a hammer and apply gentle force to break the pieces. After that’s done, check your surroundings to make sure that any small shards didn’t fall out on the floor.
  3. Place wrapped shards in a box
    After the broken glass is wrapped and the shards are made smaller, place the wrapped cloth in a box with a lid. Make sure to secure the box with strong adhesive tape and label it to indicate that there’s broken glass inside. If the box is too big, consider adding items inside or putting more cloth on top of the wrapped glass. This extra step keeps the shards secure inside the box, and safe for handling.

After following these steps, you can now safely dispose of broken glass in your garbage collection bin.

Recycling Broken Glass: A Myth

One of the most common questions that homeowners have is whether broken glass can be recycled. Once disposed of or properly handled, what can you really do with broken light bulbs, window glass, and even wine glasses? The answer is that these broken glass items don’t belong in the blue bin because they don’t have the same composition as regular glass jars and containers. Here’s what you should do when you’re thinking of recycling or repurposing broken glass:

Light Bulbs

Disposing of shattered light bulbs is not as simple as sweeping the glass fragments into the bin. While incandescent and halogen bulbs can go into the trash after following our step-by-step guide on handling broken glass above, compact fluorescent bulbs are built with hazardous materials that require more delicate handling.

If an energy-efficient light-bulb bursts inside your home you should clear the room immediately to avoid exposure to toxic gases. To avoid health hazards, it’s best to take necessary precautions when handling the glass fragments and take all the pieces to a local hazardous waste drop-off facility.

Broken China

When it comes to your favourite wine and drinking glasses, it’s safe to assume that these can’t be reused. Drinking glasses and container glass cannot also be mixed when recycling because they have different chemical compositions and melting points, so recycling them together would do more harm than good.

When disposing of them, make sure to wrap the fragments in cloth separately before storing in boxes that go in the garbage collection bin. This will keep garbage handlers safe and allow them to sort the fragments correctly for disposal or repurposing.


Larger glass fragments such as mirrors require cautious handling, as the sharp and jagged ends can easily cause injuries when not disposed of properly. Before chucking them out, make sure to securely tape along the broken edges and across the rest of the remaining piece to contain the broken pieces and allow safe and easy handling during collection.

Why You Need a Mixed Waste Garbage Bin

Move over regular garbage bins because with mixed waste garbage bins, you won’t have to deal with the confusion of figuring out where specific waste materials go. Mixed waste garbage bins are designed to handle all types of household waste, and that includes properly disposed of broken glass.

To learn more about how to properly dispose of waste, call Gorilla Bins at 877-700-2467 or contact us here.

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