The most recent project took place in Sydney’s Bondi with the first recycled glass road to be designed and approved by the NSW Road Traffic Authority. It will use an astounding 83 tonnes of recycled glass. The second was backed by Victoria’s Mannigham Council, with the laying of a new shared pathway. Amazingly the projects have diverted almost 100 tonnes of recycled glass from our landfill – equivalent to over 564,000 stubbies. That’s a lot of beer!
The Packaging Stewardship Forum(PSF) of the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC)funded both projects. They followed an initiative in Victoria where Manningham Council lay a 240 metre bicycle and pedestrian pathway using 15 tonnes of crushed recycled glass in the sub-base. Not only did the project use 100 per cent recycled crushed glass and crushed rock, but it also provided a practical local solution for sustainable construction.
Waverley Mayor, Councillor Sally Betts, is delighted that her council are leading the state in recycling initiatives.
“I am extremely proud for our council to be one of those leading the way for the use of recycled glass in road and pavement construction,” Mayor Betts said.
Manningham Mayor Councillor Charles Pick is extremely excited by the project.
“Traditional footpath and bicycle path building materials are becoming scarce in some regions. It makes sense to use recycled crushed glass and crushed brick/concrete in these applications to save the use of virgin materials and make our pathways more sustainable,” Councillor Pick commented.
Jenny Pickles, General Manager of the PSF said that the projects demonstrate there are sustainable alternatives in the market.
“These two projects showcase the use of waste container glass as a new and sustainable replacement for natural sand in footpath and road construction,” Miss Pickles commented. “More than 130,000 tonnes of beverage container glass is disposed of in landfills across Australia every year. Three times this amount is stockpiled pending suitable use.
“We used 9 million tonnes of asphalt in Australia each year for road construction, allowing glass for even ten per cent of these roads will rid us of current stockpiles.”
Overseas in the UK, US and New Zealand recycled glass has been used as an alternative within the construction sector for years. Australia could take a leaf out its neighbour New Zealand’s book where half the glass recycled yearly is utilised in alternative markets.
The PSF has employed the Australian Research Board along with working with Swinburne University, Victoria, to develop specifications for recycled glass sand product. These include partial replacement in asphalt paving, sand replacement in concrete, pipe embedment and aggregate mix in paving. These are now available to local and state governments and road authorities.
For more information visit www.afgc.org.au
Photos: (L-R)Cr Meg Downie,PSF GM Jenny Pickles, MAV President Bill McArthur; Laying of glassphalt - glass in asphalt road- Waverley, NSW; Glass in pathway, project by Manningham Council, VIC; PSF G.