Safelite AutoGlass recycled more than 1 million windshields in 2013, saving tons of waste from landfills.
Windshields are not easily recycled because they are made from laminated glass. A clear resin interlay of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) is placed between tow sheet so glass, making separation difficult, according to the company. Safelite adds the logistics of returning windshields to a recycling plant are challenging.
Safelite AutoGlass implemented its windshield recycling program in 2012 in a partnership with Shark Glass Recycling North America.
The laminated glass from Safelite’s customers is processed through the crusher, which separates the glass from PVB. Approximately 90 percent becomes “glass cullet,” which can then be recycled into a number of new products including fiberglass insulation, while approximately 7 percent becomes PVB scrap. That is reprocessed into pellets and recycled into a number of new products, such as carpet backing, paint and primer, and other plastic products.
Safelite currently has 70 percent of its locations returning damaged windshields and hopes to reach 100 percent in the near future.
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