Glass recycling hits the roads

By Tate Papworth

Recycled glass will soon be put to use in Brimbank’s roads.

The Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) has been awarded a $200,000 grant to trial recycled crushed glass in asphalt on local roads.

The ARRB says more than 250,000 tonnes of glass is recovered from households and business in Victoria every year.

It says that using finely crushed glass in road pavement materials has the potential to create viable markets for the vast amounts of glass collected in Victoria, especially that which is low-value and not easily recycled back into other glass products.

ARRB project lead Dr James Grenfell said the concept offered great opportunities for councils, especially in helping deal with the current recycling crisis.

“The other exciting aspect is the engagement with a local city council and to have the ability to monitor a field trial for an extended period of time,” said Dr Grenfell.

“The collaboration with local government is what we want to get so we can help local government use the waste stream for their road rehabilitation schemes.”

Brimbank council and VicRoads are both partners in the project which is being funded by Sustainability Victoria.

Sustainability Victoria’s interim chief executive Carl Muller said it’s a golden opportunity.

“It’s all part of Victoria’s growing circular economy – we need proven recycled content products and markets for those products to make recycling viable,” Mr Muller said.

“This will build confidence and market demand.”

Brimbank council is currently negotiating a new kerbside recycling agreement and assessing its long-term options.

In previous months, it’s declared a state of climate emergency and resolved to investigate methods to introduce a more circular economy.

The grant is one of nine that Sustainability Victoria has issued under its research, development and demonstration grants program. Other grants are also for projects involving e-waste, plastic and paper.