AGRSS Issues First Interpretation; Allows Use of Used/Recycled Glass in Very Limited Cases

The Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards (AGRSS) Council has issued an interpretation that clarifies the conditions under which recycled/salvage glass may be used in auto glass replacements.

The interpretation of the ANSI/AGRSS Standard is the first such interpretation issued and was developed in response to an inquiry from an auto glass company that wanted to know if the use of salvage glass met the ANSI/AGRSS Standard.

"The ANSI/AGRSS Standard is all about safe installations," said AGRSS chairperson Cindy Minon-Ketcherside of JC's Glass. "It was important for us to look [at] whether or not the use of salvage glass is consistent with the Standard."

The Council defines the terms "recycled" and "used" as "any automotive glass previously installed in a motor vehicle at least once."

In answer to the question, "Does the AGRSS Standard permit or address the use of recycled, or used stationary automotive glass, with the exception to remove or install (R&I) of automotive glass?" the Council said:

The "ANSI/AGRSS Standard 002-2002 does not prohibit the installation of "recycled" or "used" stationary automotive glass in motor vehicles provided the following three conditions are met:

1. The glass is in a condition that will permit a safe installation and must be free of obvious structural or visually objectionable flaws. Unacceptable flaws include delamination, edge chips, cracks/breaks, or distortion in an acute vision area;

2. The glass is installed with a retention system compatible with the original equipment (OE) design; and

3. For adhesive bonded glass, the adhesive manufacturer's application instructions must permit its use in connection with the installation of "recycled" or "used" adhesive bonded, stationary automotive glass."

AGRSS also has released a checklist of requirements to help installers and customers know if a recycled glass meets the criteria mandated for it to be usable as well as some common questions regarding the practice and the answers as supplied by the AGRSS. These are as follow:

Common Questions and Answers about the AGRSS Used/Recycled Glass Interpretation

1. So are we allowed to install used or salvage glass or not?
A- Only in very limited circumstances as set out in the AGRSS interpretation.

2. Does the interpretation say it is permitted?
A- It is permitted in very limited circumstances.

3. When is it permitted?
A- It is permitted only when ALL of the following three circumstances are met:
1- When the glass is free from obvious flaws or defects.
2- When the glass is installed with a retention system compatible with the original equipment (OE) design; and
3-When the adhesive manufacturers' application instructions permit the use of that adhesive with "recycled" or "used" adhesive bonded stationery glass.

4. OK, let's take these one at a time. What do you mean by the glass being free from obvious defects?
A- Well, first, that, upon close inspection, you can't see anything wrong with the glass. That there are no structural flaws, no delamination, no edge chips, cracks, breaks or distortion of the vision area. If there are none, then you can move on to the second criteria that the retention system be compatible with the original equipment design.

5. Well, if the glass is taken out of a car somewhere in a junk yard, I won't even know what retention system was used, let alone whether or not the adhesive is compatible. How could I use that glass?
A- You can't and meet the AGRSS Standard. You can only use the glass if you know for a fact that retention system installed is compatible with the original equipment design.

6. When would that be?
A-Well, for example, for a removal and reinstallation of the same glass on the same car, you might know it. For glass you get from a junkyard, you probably would not.

7. The interpretation also says that the adhesive manufacturer's instructions must permit the use of that adhesive with used glass. Which manufacturers allow this?
A-To the best of our knowledge, no adhesive manufacturers currently permit the use of their adhesive with recycled or used glass. Some do allow their adhesives to be used for removal and reinstallation (R&R) jobs. While this may change in the future as new products come on the market, currently none allow such use.

8. Sounds like there aren't very many cases where I can use salvage glass. Is that correct?
A- As we said, the Interpretation allows its use in only very limited circumstances.

9. What can I give my customers to explain this?
A-AGRSS has published the interpretation itself, along with a convenient checklist you can use to show customers when used or recycled glass can be used consistent with the AGRSS Standard. A pamphlet called "Using Recycled or Used Glass under the AGRSS Standard" will also be published soon.

10. Suppose I, or my customers, have questions about the Standard or this intepretation. Who do we contact?
A-You can contact Rick Church, AGRSS secretariat, by writing to him at 800 Roosevelt Rd., Bldg. C-20, Glen Ellyn, IL 60187. You can also contact him by phone at 630/942-6597 or by fax at 630/790-3095.

There may still be some confusion about how and when recycled glass can be used in windshield replacement. AGRSS also has prepared the following checklist to help you determine if such glass may be used. If you answer "no" to ANY of the following questions, then the use of such glass is not consistent with the AGRSS Standard. If you answer "yes" to ALL the questions, then use of the glass is consistent with the AGRSS Standard.

Is the Glass You Wish to Use ...
Free of structural flaws?
Sound and free of flaws?
Free of chips, edge chips, cracks, or breaks?
Free of any signs of delamination?
Free of distortion in the driver's field of vision?
Do you know the type of retention system used?
Is that retention system compatible with the original equipment design?
Do you know the type of adhesive system used on the previous installation?
Does the manufacturer of the adhesive system you are going to use permit its use with the installation of recycled or used glass?
If you answered yes to ALL questions, the use of such glass is consistent with the AGRSS Standard.
If you answered no to EVEN ONE question, the use of such glass is not consistent with the AGRSS Standard.

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