Glass Industry

Crushed Glass To Go In Roads

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GLASS ROADS: Cr Francis Maher, left, with council solid waste manager Willi Borst, and Fulton Hogan's Wayne Barnett with the recycled glass which will be used in roading.


SOURCE: Scott Hammond/Marlborough Express

Marlborough's recycled glass is now finding a home in the region's roads following a successful trial of including glass in base course.

Until now glass has been crushed and put into landfill, but Fulton Hogan has been trialling a scheme since the beginning of the year at its Renwick crushing plant, where the glass is added in with the aggregate as it starts the crushing process.

The base course material has passed Transit New Zealand roading requirements, and more importantly, has been sold for use in roads, carparks and driveways.

Regulations allow for up to five percent glass material in base course for roading.

About 2000 cubic metres of the base course material has been processed, and a lot has been used in roading around Shakespeare Bay.

The marketing test means the project has been a success, and recycling of the glass into roading material will continue.

It also means people will not have to separate coloured glass at the Marlborough District Council's Wither Rd transfer station.

Fulton Hogan divisional civil contracting manager Wayne Barnett said a couple of people had specifically asked for the glass material because they wanted to support the recycling initiative.

He was enthusiastic about the result.

"The big thing for us was we didn't know what the market reaction would be, but the reaction has been positive, and that's a great result."

The loader adds one scoop of glass to a certain number of scoops of aggregate. By the time the aggregate and glass has been through a primary crusher and the secondary Barmac Impactor, pieces were no bigger than a finger nail, and had any sharp edges worn down. It was difficult to see which bits were glass in the final product.

"It always astounds me because it doesn't look like you think it will," Mr Barnett said.

"It's been a great learning experience. If you think something sounds right, you go for it."

Mr Barnett said bottle tops, corks, cardboard, plastic, including plastic bottles, and even clothing was coming in with the recycled glass, and would be an ongoing problem.

Cr Francis Maher praised Fulton Hogan, which he said had persevered and the trial was "successful beyond our expectations".

"I think it's bloody fantastic. I don't know why we didn't do this earlier. It just takes somebody with the confidence to make a stand and give it a go."

He said all the council's collected glass would now go to Fulton Hogan, and he believed the amount of glass available for recycling in Marlborough would increase when the new transfer station was on line, and even when kerbside recycling became available.

However, recycling was a constantly changing scene, and if another economical recycling or reusing option came up, the council would look at that.

Council solid waste man-ager Willi Borst said there hadn't yet been any interest in the scheme from outside Marlborough, but the council had been waiting to see how the trial went.

It meant that glass collected at the transfer station in Wither Rd now no longer needed to be sorted into different colours. A wider range of glass is also now acceptable, although windscreen glass was not taken because of its plastic content.

Ms Borst said the council would now investigate using a large single bin at the transfer station for glass collection to make the process easier.