How we recycle glass to create sand for our roads
Through our Materials Recovery Facility, we recover glass and then process it through a glass crushing plant to produce a glass sand. Some of this glass sand is sent to Blakebrook Quarry where it is mixed with other materials and turned into road base.
Other glass sand is used in drainage works and pipe bedding, and is a cost effective, sustainable alternative to metal dust and sand.
Conventional glass recycling is costly and requires expensive technology to separate different coloured glass for re-processing, with a high loss rate due to breakage. Currently, there is little industry support for conventional glass recycling, which has only ever allowed for the recycling of glass jars and bottles. Through crushing glass back into sand, we can repurpose not only glass bottles and jars, but also plate glass, drinking ware, crockery and pyrex. This means we are capturing more glass for recycling and less is going to landfill.
As well as ensuring more glass can be recycled, transforming glass back into sand reduces the need to mine virgin material for road base and asphalt, decreasing road resealing costs and limiting truck movements on the road. Making road base and fill material from recycled products, rather than mining virgin materials, uses considerably less energy and water, and creates less air pollution.
The first road containing glass sand was constructed in June 2015 at Numulgi and we now use glass sand in much of our road base.
We are even winning awards for the use of glass sand, with Council and our contractors, Diona and Calibre Consulting, awarded the Civil Contractors Federation NSW Earth Award in June 2017. This recognised excellence in civil construction for the Caniaba Street Sewage Pump Station and particularly the use of recycled glass in its construction.
Remember to place all your old glass, crockery, pyrex, plate glass, drinking glasses etc in your yellow recycling bin. The only type of glass not suitable for recycling is windscreen glass.