2nd Aug, 2021
Many businesses can make savings and improve their profit margins significantly through recycling waste glass responsibly. When you consider that this valuable resource is infinitely recyclable, it makes absolutely no sense to send it to landfill.
Glass is one of the most highly recyclable materials we use and will not degrade during the recycling process. It can therefore be recycled repeatedly.
WHAT IS GLASS?
Glass consist of three virgin materials; sand(silica), soda ash and limestone. Once melted at high temperatures, these materials turn into a molten form that can be moulded and formed in many ways.
GLASS IN LANDFILL
According to scientists, it would take approximately one million years for glass to break down naturally in a landfill site, and less than 60% of glass gets recycled in Australia.
When glass is manufactured using recycled materials, the energy used could be up to 75% less of the energy required to make glass from sand.
Cullet is the name for the crushed glass product that is produced when glass is recycled.
A percentage of this recycled glass product is usually combined with virgin materials during the manufacturing process to reduce costs and minimise energy usage.
USES IN CONSTRUCTION
There are various uses for recycled glass in construction. For example, when crushed finely, it can replace sand; less finely, it can replace gravel.
- In aggregate
- Backfill for trenches and pipes
- Backfill for foundations
- Mixing concrete
- The production of insulation materials
- Road surfaces
- Paint and render additives
- Building products made from glass foam
USES IN CONSUMER PRODUCTS
- Decorative objects (for example, lighting fixtures)
- Tiles and bricks
- Porcelain and stoneware
An American company and a leader in their field, Andela Products Ltd., has created a “Glass Pulverizer System” to turn all types of glass into sand and gravel with no sharp edges. It has the added bonuses of being able to use all kinds of glass, including windows and ceramics (which cannot be made into new molten glass), and of separating other contaminants, such as trash, at the same time as it crushes, therefore not requiring pre-sorting.
The Australian government provides continuous support to hundreds of waste projects yearly.
The Western Australian “WasteSorted Grant” is currently open that makes provision to support Glass recycling. The submission closes on 13 September 2021.