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Using recycled glass in infrastructure projects

850,000 tonnes of glass waste is produced throughout Australia each year. Of that, Victoria alone generates 250,000 tonnes of glass waste.

21 March 2016

Yarra Valley Water’s Development and Divisional Services Manager, Kevin Dawson, recently presented at Swinburne University’s Sustainable Land Development, Civil Design Aspects and Recycled Materials Seminar about how we’re using recycled glass to reduce our impact on the environment.

With only 48 per cent of glass waste reusable for glass manufacturing, the Alex Fraser Group is helping to turn the remaining 52 per cent into a usable product for civil construction and infrastructure projects. 

Old glass bottles

In 2015, Yarra Valley Water undertook a successful trial of recycled glass, which originates from crushed glass and is also known as recycled sand, using the product to surround and support pipes in the ground.

"The last decade has seen an increase in the availability and quality of recycled materials, especially for road pavements. Some of these materials include crushed concrete, crushed bricks and crushed tiles," Yarra Valley Water Divisional Services Manager, Kevin Dawson said.

"Quarry products are finite and we decided that we needed to look for alternative materials for infrastructure development which reduced our environmental impact. 

"When we identified crushed glass as a material, we realised that it had a significant environmental benefit too because it’s a recycled material and we’re diverting the waste away from landfill meeting our long term environmental sustainability commitment.

"Ongoing, Yarra Valley Water will be using recycled glass as an alternative embedment material on selected infrastructure projects, it is also being used by VicRoads, Melbourne Water and City West Water."