Can You Recycle Whiskey Bottles?

  • By: greenorb
  • Date: June 14, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

After a big soiree or an event, you will likely end up with a few empty liquor bottles.

If whiskey is your drink of choice, you might wonder; can you recycle whiskey bottles, or do they have to go in the garbage?

Many whiskey bottles have the ability to be recycled, though there are some important factors to consider about your empty bottle before throwing it in your recycling bin.

Where you live will also determine if and how you can recycle a whiskey bottle, or any liquor bottle for that matter.

There are also ways to repurpose bottles in an effort to reduce the waste you produce. 

It’s important to check with your municipality to see what they recommend you do with liquor bottles.

If you cannot recycle them in your bin, there are ways to use them creatively for other purposes, especially if the bottle is too cool to throw away. 

Can You Recycle Whiskey Bottles?

Most whiskey bottles are made of either glass or plastic, which are usually recyclable materials in and of themselves.

However, because these bottles contain liquor, not all municipalities have the capability to recycle them properly.

These bottles have to be cleaned very well in order to be recycled properly. 

Glass bottles can also create safety hazards for those working in recycling centers, so some cities are cracking down on how much they accept.

If a bottle ends up breaking in your bin, it can render the entire load unrecyclable, which further contributes to already overfilled landfills. 

In the United States, some states have their own requirements regarding what to do with empty liquor bottles.

In Canada, some provinces allow you to bring back empty liquor bottles to their stores, and you can actually be given money to do so. 

If your particular city doesn’t let you put liquor bottles in your recycling bin, it’s worth doing a quick search for any glass recycling centers in your area.

Some of these services will accept empty liquor bottles if you drop them off, while others will actually pick them up from you. 

How To Recycle Whiskey Bottles

If you’re able to recycle your whiskey bottle, be sure that you are cleaning it out thoroughly.

You may even want to wash it more than once in order to remove the scent of liquor.

Be sure you check whether or not your city allows for these bottles to go in your regular recycling bin, or if you are expected to put them on the curb separately. 

If your bottle has a sticky label on it, you should remove that before you wash the bottle. The glue and ink on those labels cannot be broken down at recycling centers.

The cork or the top on your whiskey bottle will also have to be disposed of separately. 

If you have a collection of empty liquor bottles adding up and they are too pretty to throw away, some thrift stores will accept them as donations.

Many people will use these bottles for all sorts of crafting purposes. Unless you want to make your own crafts, donating them can help you get rid of these bottles without throwing them away. 

How To Recycle Whiskey Bottles

How To Recycle Plastic Whiskey Bottles 

When it comes to plastic bottles that hold liquor, the same rules apply. Be sure to check what your city does and doesn’t allow before putting those bottles in your bin.

They should also be thoroughly washed, with labels off and caps off and thrown into the regular garbage. 

You might be able to repurpose these plastic bottles as well, though they may not result in projects as beautiful as ones that can be done with glass whiskey bottles. 

How To Repurpose Whiskey Bottles 

As whiskey bottles are perfect vessels for liquids already, you can repurpose a beautiful, empty whiskey bottle into a bottle for other liquids.

If you let some hot water and soap sit in the bottle for a few minutes, that should remove any residue from the bottle. These repurposed drinking bottles can add some character to a dinner table or to your next party. 

If you have an especially beautiful bottle of whiskey, you can easily and inexpensively turn it into a piece of home decor.

You can pop some twinkle lights into it or some faux plants to add some colorfully different home decor to any space in your home. 

Some people will also use these bottles as candle holders if they have a longer top.

You can also turn one of these bottles into a unique soap dispenser by grabbing some accessories at a dollar store or craft store.

These bottles can also be painted to turn them into something unique. 

If you are an especially crafty or handy person, there are more in-depth DIY projects you can attempt with your empty whiskey bottle.

For example, empty liquor bottles that are thoroughly cleaned of any alcohol residue can be turned into bird feeders for your yard.

These bottles can also be broken up and used to create artistic pieces for your home. 

Final Thoughts

So can you recycle whiskey bottles once you’ve finished off your last drink? You definitely can, but how and where you can recycle them will differ.

Thankfully, there are so many ways you can repurpose old liquor bottles of any shape and size so that you’re not adding to landfills.

Just be sure you check with your city before disposing of empty whiskey bottles improperly.  

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