Recycled glass has "huge potential" in making concrete

WRAP has announced positive results for a research study into another possible alternative market for waste glass. The University of Sheffield "ConGlassCrete" study concluded that waste container, plate, automotive and fluorescent tube glass could be used to make concrete.

The Waste and Resources Action Programme said the study had found "no significant variation" in performance between each type of glass, or even between clean and contaminated glass.

Research was carried out in two phases. The first stage tested waste container glass for use as a replacement for pozzolana, an ash-like component of concrete. The second phase tested different kinds of waste glass in making concrete.

The study found that the glass-concrete "complied with appropriate British Standards", and the results of the research have been backed by a pre-certification report from the Buildings Research Establishment.

Recycled glass collectors are crying out for economically viable alternative markets for green glass in the UK at the moment, since more green glass is collected for recycling than can be used for use in making new containers.

Commenting on the project, WRAP's materials sector manager for glass, Andy Dawe, said the use of glass in making concrete "has huge potential", which has not been exploited yet because of a lack of standards and third party certification.

He said: "These projects have been extensively researched by industry and the University of Sheffield and third party pre-certification for the use of glass from various waste streams in concrete has been achieved."

Although he described specifications as "tentative", Mr Dawe said the work "may increase confidence in glass as a material that can be used in concrete, especially as a pozzolan and decorative aggregate."

WRAP has targets to achieve additional recycling of 150,000 tonnes per year of glass into higher value alternative markets by 2006. In other areas, the government-funded organisation has developed a water filtration product made from recycled glass and is trialling recycled glass sand in golf bunkers at the De Vere Carden Park Golf Course near Chester.

600450 Recycled glass has "huge potential" in making concrete
Date: 7 December 2004

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