Waste Less Recycle More helping to pave the road with glass

The EPA has supported the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade project to improve sustainability with a $107,636 grant to trial the use of recycled glass sand in the road base.

NSW EPA’s Executive Director for Waste and Resource Recovery, Carmen Dwyer, said the grant was awarded through the ‘Waste Less, Recycle More’ program which aims to stimulate new investment and transform waste and recycling across the state.

“Working with large organisations in the civil construction industry creates great opportunities to reduce landfill and support new markets and opportunities for recyclable materials, reducing the impact of changes in the global recycling market,” Ms Dwyer said. 

“These grants aim to foster innovative thinking while removing the potential risks associated with implementing new processes.”

The glass was collected from Lismore City Council’s waste collection system, which includes glass from household recycling bins and Return and Earn stations.

Roads and Maritime Service Acting Director Northern Vicky Sisson said recycled glass has previously been used for ramps and drainage but this is the first time it has been used on the main carriageway on the Pacific Highway.

“The recycled glass sand was used in place of sand quarried for this purpose, reducing material consumption and waste at the same time.

“The mix meets Roads and Maritime Services’ specifications for concrete pavement and will be tested for quality in the same way as traditional concrete pavement,” she said.

“The good news is this mix will not require any additional maintenance.

“It’s exciting to see this new market grow and it is hoped recycled glass is used on more NSW road projects in the near future.”