Windshield glass recycling: auto glass industry leaders


As the leaders in the auto glass repair and replacement industry, it is our duty to help protect the environment for future generations by leading by example. Our local and global presence moves us to monitor our environmental footprint, as it is important not only to the planet, but to our loyal customers. As a result of our devotion to the planet and our customers, we developed a series of commitments to environmental policy.

2014: the year of a million windshields recycled

We are proud to report that in 2014, we successfully recycled over 1.3 million windshields, amounting to more than 23,000 tons of waste kept out of our nation’s landfills. Since the inception of our program and partnership with Shark Glass Recycling North America, we have recycled 2.7 million windshields, or approximately 47,700 tons of landfill waste.

Impact goes beyond landfills

Because recycled glass can be substituted for up to 95% of raw materials1, the potential to help reduce our carbon footprint is vast due to our large local and global presence.

But, what direct benefits can we see from the 23,000 tons of glass waste saved from landfills in 2014?

Carbon dioxide is one of the environment’s worst enemies and for every 6 tons of recycled glass, one ton of carbon dioxide is reduced2. Let’s do a few calculations to see how much Safelite saved with its windshield glass recycling program.

  •  If Safelite saved 23,000 tons of glass in 2014, that equates to 3,833 tons of CO2 saved
  • 3,833 tons of CO2 is the equivalent to:
    • The annual emissions of 732 vehicles on the road2
    • The emissions of 391,273 gallons of gasoline consumed or 46   tanker trucks worth of gasoline2
    • The emissions of 317 homes for one year2
    • The emissions of 3,734,951 pounds of coal burned2
  • The amount of CO2 saved by Safelite’s windshield glass recycling program equates to the same amount of CO2 saved as:
    • 2,850 acres of US forests in one year2
    • 26.8 acres of US forests preserved from conversion to cropland in one year2

Now that we know what energy is being saved, what are the benefits from saving this much CO2 in 2014? The Container Recycling Institute reports that recycling 1,000 tons of glass creates slightly over 8 jobs1:

  • In 2014, Safelite helped to create approximately 184 jobs
  • Since 2012, Safelite helped to create approximately 386 jobs

Our goal is to have 100% of our locations collecting and delivering old windshields to recycling facilities and we are dedicated to reviewing and revising our environmental policies regularly to do our best for the environment.

  1. Glass Packaging Institute – Glass Recycling Facts
  2. EPA - Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

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