Sustainable Disposal of Mirrors

Do you have mirrors in your restaurant, hotel, or retail establishment? Most likely you do!

Did you know that when a mirror breaks or it meets the end of its useful life (say via new construction or a remodel) you cannot just recycle it?

Unlike glass used for food and beverage containers, other glass like mirrors, drinking glasses, and windshields use additives like plastic, lead, or other materials to add strength and reflective properties.  As a result, you can’t just pitch these items into the recycle bin. While these items aren’t hazardous, it’s still not a great idea to send them to a landfill. So, what should you do with these items?

There are still sustainable options for disposing of these materials.  This is an opportunity to follow the Reuse principle within the Reduce – Reuse – Recycle mantra of sustainability. Here are some options to consider:

  • Donate to charity or a reuse organization if the mirror is in fine condition. Options include places like the Salvation Army, Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity Restore, or The Resource Exchange.
  • Contact a consignment shop or antique dealer if your mirrors are unique or a period piece.
  • Give broken mirror pieces to an organization that incorporates such pieces into mosaics for public and private spaces. A Philadelphia based option includes Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens.

Disposing of such items sustainability is not only good for the environment but it helps you build goodwill in your community and perhaps even make it a more beautiful place!

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