‘Unique recycled glass/concrete road base 20pc stronger’

A Sydney council trialling recycled glass in road repairs is reporting significantly higher compaction rates and road-base strength.

Using small pieces of glass in the sub-base of asphalt to try and reduce the occurrence of potholes, the Canterbury Bankstown Council said results showed a 20 percent greater compaction in the road surface, meaning it is 20 percent stronger.

Canterbury Bankstown’s Director of Operations, Anthony Vangi, said: “It’s unique because we’re recycling small pieces of glass, which is very difficult to recycle normally compared to a whole bottle.”

“The bases are much stronger, the pavement won’t settle, which means it won’t crack and water won’t get in and we won’t get as many potholes as we normally do,” Mr Vangi said.

The trial has taken place in a section of a local street that needed repairs to the curb and gutter.

The road was laid in February and has so far survived Sydney’s very wet summer and autumn, with more than 1500mm falling in the past five months.

“We constructed a new sub-base for the asphalt to sit on and the new curb and gutter,” Mr Vangi said.

“The sub-base consists of 30 percent recycled glass and 70 percent recycled concrete. And it was also 30 percent cheaper to produce.”

The trial road will be monitored for another six months with other councils expected to use the data to roll out the surfaces in their own areas.

The Australian Local Government Association’s (ALGA) Director of Transport and Infrastructure Policy, Sanjiv Sathiah, said the trial results were encouraging.

“Councils have long been leaders in the circular economy, and this is another example of council innovation delivering better outcomes for local communities,” Mr Sathiah said.