Reusing kerbside glass: sustainability in action

Cleanaway’s Engineering team has been researching new ways to beneficially reuse glass from kerbside recycling particularly in construction projects where large volumes can be utilised

Resource Recovery

May 28, 2021

Highlights

The result is a significant success on several fronts - achieving beneficial reuse of recycled material, providing cost benefits and internalisation opportunities for Cleanaway.

Tags: Recycling
Highlights

The result is a significant success on several fronts - achieving beneficial reuse of recycled material, providing cost benefits and internalisation opportunities for Cleanaway.

Cleanaway’s Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) in Coolaroo and Laverton receive glass material each month from council kerbside collections, as part of the Victorian Commingled Resource Recovery (VCRR) network. Cleanaway’s Engineering team has been researching new ways to beneficially reuse this glass, particularly in construction projects where large volumes can be utilised.

Pictured: Processed crushed glass from our Victorian Commingled Resource Recovery (VCRR) network of facilities

One of these projects involves Fraser Road Landfill in Clayton where Cleanaway is rehabilitating the closed landfill as part of a commitment to remediate closed legacy landfill sites in Victoria.

Over 90,000 tonnes of construction material are required to construct a ~150,000m2 hardstand layer (a durable paved area) on a quadrant of the site and stormwater drainage systems as part of the overall rehabilitation program.

These constructions materials can consist of rock, gravels, aggregates and processed glass. The Engineering team identified an opportunity to source construction materials internally by reusing glass volumes from VCRR as part of the landfill remediation.

After identifying the opportunity, a rigorous research and development program followed, which involved sorting, crushing, screening and blending the recovered glass until the end product met all construction design criteria and auditor requirements.

Extensive sampling and testing was undertaken to demonstrate both environmental and engineering properties of the material. Any materials used or proposed to be used in the remediation works are reviewed, assessed and approved by our consultants and third-party auditors appointed by the EPA.

Pictured: Crushed glass being used as part of the construction activities to remediate Fraser Road Landfill

Following a thorough trialling process, a suitable glass product was developed at VCRR and the hard work paid off with impressive results – the hardstand layer at the rehabilitated Fraser Road Landfill site consists of up to 30% reused crushed glass.

The result is a significant success on several fronts – achieving beneficial reuse of recycled material, providing cost benefits and internalisation opportunities for Cleanaway, and working towards our mission of making a sustainable future possible.

Now that an effective solution has been developed, the team plans to further drive the beneficial reuse of glass in other parts of Cleanaway and continue developing future solutions.

The project team includes:
Sean Blackburn (Project Lead)
Peter Venditti (VCRR Branch Manager)
Edgar Hartmanis (VCRR Branch Manager)
Barry Griffin (Head of Engineering)
Srikar Rapole (Technical Lead)
Leo Oldridge (Remediation Manager)

Contact us to learn more about how we’re making a sustainable future possible through our innovative resource recovery initiatives.