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Byron Shire
March 29, 2023

Lismore trial of recycled crushed glass in concrete

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Mayor Steve Krieg with Professor Andrew Rose, Academic Director of Southern Cross University’s ReCirculator Program.

A trial to use recycled crushed glass in concrete as a replacement for sand will be taking place in Lismore at the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre.

Lismore City Council’s Commercial Services team is working with the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Graham’s Concrete and Southern Cross University on the trial the use of recycled crushed glass in concrete as a replacement for sand.   

The first trial will use the crushed glass concrete to lay a new floor in a shed at the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre. Southern Cross University will then use the shed as a dedicated facility to pilot innovative waste treatment and resource recovery technologies. 

Lismore City Council General Manager John Walker said finding alternative uses for our recycled products is the direction we need to head in.

‘We are hopeful that this trial will demonstrate another successful use of glass sand. This is a product that we can produce locally and is our preferred option over the associated cost and challenges that comes with recycling glass in the traditional way,’ he said.

‘By reusing material locally, this trial demonstrates Council’s transition to circular economy principles, a focus of our Resource Recovery and Residual Waste Strategy.’

EPA Director Circular Economy Programs Kathy Giunta said the funding for the project was allocated through the EPA’s Civil Construction Market Program to support innovation in infrastructure. 

‘More than $240,000 has been awarded to Lismore City Council to use glass from kerbside recycling in concrete. This will create a clever circular solution for local infrastructure needs like footpaths, kerbs, drains and roadways.’

‘Glass is a great option for reuse as sand as it won’t degrade over time and this project will help reduce emissions contributing to a more sustainable Lismore,’ she said.

Southern Cross University will use the shed for several pilot projects as part of its ReCirculator program, which is funded by the Federal Government’s Strategic University Reform Fund (SURF). 

Professor Andrew Rose, the Academic Director of Southern Cross University’s ReCirculator Program, said Southern Cross University shares Council’s vision for the creation of a regional circular economy that diverts valuable materials away from landfill and back into new products.

‘We’re grateful to Council for the opportunity to jointly establish a pilot facility at the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre. This will allow us to showcase innovative solutions to waste issues, and we look forward to working together with Council, local industry and the wider community to help create a circular Northern Rivers economy,’ he said.

Future trials will test the use of recycled crushed glass in precast concrete products. The outcomes of the trials will be published by the NSW EPA in 2024. 

For more information on Council’s Resource Recovery and Residual Waste Strategy and the initiatives Council is undertaking to move towards a circular economy go to https://northernriverswaste.com.au/waste-management-and-resource-recovery-strategy 

For more information on Southern Cross University’s ReCirculator program, go to https://www.scu.edu.au/engage/recirculator/

This project is a NSW Environment Protection Authority, Waste Less Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.

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  1. Many wondered where the ‘glass’ went 13 plus years back in Queesland’s Maleny. It’s time all states got to know each other.

  2. I’m sure that I’m missing something but, instead of recycling the glass into something useful – bottles etc. – they’re just dumping it in concrete. That does nothing to reduce the environmental impacts of producing more and more glass which takes a huge amount of energy. Isn’t that the whole point of recycling glass, the energy required to produce more glass?

    6.57 MJ is used to produce a 350ml glass container, and so we’ve done nothing but find a convenient way to dump it. This is terrible dereliction of our duty to recycle glass.

    You might as well just dump it in landfill!


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