Solutions for common problems when collecting glass from commercial premises

Many businesses want to recycle more glass but are concerned about potential difficulties. Please see below for some solutions to these common problems:

No space for bins

Lack of space can be overcome by asking your collector about their range of bin sizes. Also because glass usually makes up a large proportion of your waste, once you begin recycling you can replace some of your general waste bins with smaller versions.  Collectors will try to help you wherever possible with more regular collections.

Collection costs

In the past, collections for glass recycling have been free of charge but unfortunately with the current value of recycled glass (around £15 a tonne for colour mixed glass), almost all collectors now charge for collections. But glass recycling is cheaper than general waste collections and this gap will only widen as the landfill tax increases for waste disposal.

Lack of time

Recycling glass doesn’t have to take any longer than your current waste disposal method. All you need is a separate bin behind the bar and a bit of training to ensure your staff know how to use the bins.


If your staff put the wrong things into glass bins and therefore bins are not picked up, consider asking your collector to give you and your staff a refresher course, recapping what can and can't go into their bins. Bin stickers and posters that help remind your staff exactly what can be recycled can also be very effective.

Reuse - Returnable bottles

While it is important to maintain reuse where it is viable within the licensed trade, the vast majority of containers are now sent for recycling rather than being refilled. In recent years, the local infrastructure that supported reuse has been replaced by national bottling centres and this means that it is more economically viable and as environmentally friendly to use lighter weight recyclable bottles rather than reusable.

Companies like Britvic have now phased out their reusable bottles to be replaced by recyclable containers.


Some businesses (depending on location) have had complaints about the noise from the tipping procedure when glass bottles are emptied into and out of bins. This can often be overcome through changing the procedure or timing of glass collection.

Colour Separation

In the past, collections have been on a colour separated basis and this has put off some licensed premises. This is no longer the case - almost all glass collections now undertaken from commercial premises are on a colour mixed basis. This makes recycling much easier for busy pubs and clubs where space and time are at a premium.

When you search the directory you will be able to search by any of the following:

  • Colour separated: The glass is collected in different containers by colour.
  • Comingled: The glass is mixed in with other recyclables. Please note: This is not the preferred option as there can be a loss of quality of the glass.
  • Mixed glass: All glass colours are mixed together for collection.