Walking on recycled glass in Albury


May 13, 2019

Tags: MRF

Cleanaway have partnered with Jackson Earthmoving in NSW to repurpose kerbside glass waste collected and crushed at Cleanaway’s Albury Material Recovery Facility (MRF) into roads, parks and pipe bedding.

The recycled glass sand mixed with recycled concrete road base has been used to resurface the Chiltern Netball Courts in Indigo Shire and a recently completed 3.5km stretch of Spring Gully Road for Wodonga City Council. Blended with buckshot, the fine glass sand has also been used to create walking paths approximately 5km long and 2m wide, and pipe bedding for storm water pipes.

Glass recycling in action

According to Cleanaway Branch Manager David Collins, glass is one of the most recycled commodities from the household kerbside bin. It can be processed at a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in one of two ways – positive sorting, which sorts glass into amber, flint and green to be reused in colour groups, or by crushing the glass into a fine sand to be used as road base.

Asanki Fernando David Collins

From left to right: Cleanaway Education Officer Asanki Fernando and Branch Manager David Collins

“Around 12 to 15 tonnes of glass, mainly glass bottles and jars, are recycled in our Albury MRF daily. Since 2017, Cleanaway has been crushing glass as a recycling technique – its excellent compacting qualities make it a good substitute for sand. Crushed glass sand is then blended with our recycled concrete road base and buck shot to be used for making roads, walkways and pipe bedding.” David explained.

Using recycled glass instead of digging for new material in quarries not only reduces environmental impact, it also creates more jobs for the local community.

Cleanaway Education Officer, Asanki Fernando said, “We’re raising the bar for sustainability by diverting materials that would have otherwise gone to landfill. By finding new ways to recycle and creating domestic end-markets for recyclable product, we’re stimulating the economy and doing our bit for the environment at the same time. We call this the triple-bottom line of sustainability – creating social, environmental and economic value from our operations.”

Albury Glass road recycling

The future

Investigating new end-markets for recycled products, optimising the cost to process glass sand and educating the public to recycle right are Asanki’s key areas of focus for the immediate future.

“Waste separation is one of the biggest challenges we face.” Asanki explained. “We recycle all kerbside glass that’s collected, but windscreen and window glass and other contaminants have to be removed from the material stream before it can be used.

I hope to work with our partners and councils to increase the quality of recycled materials and its use in civil works.”

Recycled glass sand is also available for use as sandblasting grit, in landscaping, as pipe bedding for pool filtration systems, insulation, plastic coating and fillers, and much more. To purchase or use fine glass sand in your projects, contact Cleanaway today.

Or find out more about how we sort kerbside recyclables at our state-of-the-art Material Recovery Facilities across Australia.