When your auto glass is badly cracked, chipped or damaged beyond repair, you need to visit an auto body shop for a replacement, but where does the damaged glass go? There’s more than one answer because the glass can be recycled, reused or end-up in a landfill depending on the circumstances. The variability lies in the composition of windshields along with auto body shop best practices.



Traditionally, the widespread recycling of windshields and auto glass wasn’t commonplace. This lack of recycling is due to windshields being made from laminated glass. The resin that keeps the auto glass from shattering makes the recycling process difficult. However, large auto glass manufacturers are innovating and coming up with new ways to recycle auto glass, for multiple reuses. This practice isn’t the norm throughout the industry, but it is gaining in popularity.


The process of recycling varies between manufacturers, but it typically involves separating the glass from the resin. Auto glass is crushed, and the resin is heated so that the glass can be separated and ultimately recycled. There are some issues with heating the resin, regarding the environmental impact, but the process does help to reuse the glass and keep it out of the landfill.



Unfortunately, auto glass finds its way to the landfill more times than not. This process takes place not only in the U.S. but in other parts of the world, and it has a long-lasting impact on the surrounding communities and environment. However, governmental agencies are pushing to keep glass out of landfills. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has strategies in place to reduce the amount of glass waste dumped into landfills, preventing the creation of greenhouse gasses and toxins. These strategies focus on recycling, combustion and waste reduction at the point of creation.   



Used auto glass with minor damage can potentially be repaired. This process involves inserting additional laminate into the piece of glass, to restore its structural integrity. Done properly, this process allows the auto glass to be placed back into service. There are dealers that sell used auto glass at a discounted price compared to new units, in some instances. Repaired auto glass is ideal for classic cars and in applications where authenticity is of the utmost importance.


Sustainability and advances in recycling are changing the way used or damaged auto glass is utilized. Cracked auto glass can now avoid the landfill through re-processing. This is beneficial for the environment and all stakeholders in the auto body repair process. To learn more or get a free estimate on a windshield repair, replacement or more, visit us online at https://only1autoglass.com/estimate