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Recycled crushed glass will substitute sand in civil works projects as Lake Macquarie City Council pushes for local solutions to national issues.
The project aims to reuse thousands of tonnes of glass every year, with the potential to reuse 12,000 tonnes collected from across the Hunter region if other councils get involved.
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A plant built on the Central Coast is manufacturing the glass sand for the council’s trial.
The sand has similar applications to normal sand and can be used as a bedding material in drainage projects and other civil works.
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said glass bottles, jars and other items collected from household recycling bins would be sorted and processed as usual at a materials recovery facility at Gateshead.
“There is a growing need across Australia to find an end use for recycled glass,” Cr Fraser said.
With companies finding it cheaper to import new glass than buy recycled, we need to start coming up with innovative, cost-effective alternatives.
“This collaborative project could help solve a national crisis in our own backyard,” she said.
Manager Planning and Sustainability Alice Howe said more than 5000 tonnes of glass were collected for recycling annually across Lake Macquarie.
“Our strategy is twofold: we are demonstrating the suitability of recycled glass sand for our own civil works program, and have amended our engineering guidelines to specify how this material can be used in development across the city ,” Dr Howe said.
“We aim to gradually increase the amount of recycled glass that is processed into glass sand and used in our own operations. If the rest of the region follows our lead, this initiative could close the loop on thousands of tonnes of glass each year.”
Dr Howe said if the end-use issues for recycled glass aren’t addressed soon, the stockpiles of material will continue to grow.
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GCM Enviro’s Eggersmann – BACKHUS CON combines the proven BACKHUS turning technology with the flexible CONVAERO system, allowing for efficient turning in lanes for composting and biological drying of municipal solid waste and organic wastes, digestate and sewage sludge.
The turner is equipped with a crawler chassis used to run along the lane walls while turning within the walls. BACKHUS CON is equipped with two membrane winders that simultaneously wind and unwind the membranes during the turning process. This ensures a virtually closed system even during turning.
The Eggersmann is available with lane widths of 6, 7.5 and 10 metres.
The machine is ideal for municipal solid waste in composting/biological drying, green waste and organics via composting and sewage sludge and digestate through composting and biological drying.
The system is made flexible to cope with a variety of input materials and characteristics, while using a modular design to help operators expand their sites with minimal interruptions. Input material with high moisture content up to 70 per cent can be processed with this solution.
Press water, surface water and roof water from membrane covers can be collected separately. BACKHUS Turner serves also as a mixer for sludge with organic waste or other feedstocks.
There’s also very little infrastructure required, with one power point allowing the system to operate. All equipment operates underground, improving safety and reducing any weather impact.