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Recycled glass replace sand in highways

Recycled glass replace sand in highways

A pavement machine making a road

Long-time ago I spent a year in Australia. I have loved the place and it’s people ever since. Now here’s yet another reason – the many initiatives connected to saving our sand!  Sand is a scarce resource. Waste is not. This clever idea to combine the two deserve attention.
Photo: Courtesy of the Roads and Maritime Services, NSW government

It almost sounds too good to be true, that waste can replace much-desired sand in big scale infrastructure projects. But here’s an Australian example of this.

Waste glass from household recycling bins and stations replace fresh sand as the road base of a newly renovated well-trafficked highway. Replacing sand in used like this is a big deal. It might even save our rivers and beaches. Enormous amounts of sand is used in infrastructure, for making and maintaining roads all over the world. At a time when sand is used in much greater amounts than nature replaces it initiatives like this matter. Not to forget that the amount of waste on the other hand grows. Here the two challenges meet. 

The initiative is co-funded by the Environmental Protection Agency of Australia’s NSW state. It’s a way to stimulate and assist companies to invest in innovative sustainable solutions. And the initiatives seem plenty. Asphalt made of used plastic bags, old printer cartridges combined with recycled glass and old asphalt cover roads in other parts of the state. This too a result of the co-funded EPA program ‘Waste Less, Recycle More’.

How many individuals, changemakers, free-thinkers, organizers, never quitters, workers, supporters, enthusiasts, and doers made it go from idea to reality  I do not know. But hey, way to go all you involved!

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