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[GreenYes] NZ contractors encourage to use glass cullet in roads

Contractors encouraged to use recycled aggregates: Industry asks
government to encourage contractors to use recycled aggregates
such as glass in our roads

The Glass Packaging Forum has funded a cost benefit analysis
which finds that the premium for processing aggregate with glass
cullet over conventional mineral aggregate is around $2 per tonne
but this extra cost isn?t recognised in most tenders.

An amended Transit road specification introduced this year now
allows for up to 5% of glass cullet to be used in the base course
for roading. This will help provide a local answer for many
communities who find that the cost of sending glass back to
Auckland for processing is often too high.

However at present this isn?t economically viable unless councils
also include the potential cost of landfilling the glass into the
equation. The introduction of sustainable construction targets
could incentivise councils particularly on South Island to use
glass cullet in local roads.

With around 5% more glass packaging recovered from homes year on
year, New Zealand needs to find sustainable alternative recycling
uses for its glass. To finance research and development into
these, industry through the Glass Packaging Forum has established
a voluntary levy on all those making, using or selling glass
containers in New Zealand.

John Webber, General Manager of the Glass Packaging Forum says
that using glass in roads is common around the world but in its
infancy here and unless changes are made to the procurement
practices, it will be difficult to encourage uptake.

?We have assisted two local communities in Palmerston North and
Nelson with funds to trial crushing glass in a mix with
traditional mineral aggregate and have subsequently commissioned
a report to analyse the different production process and
associated costs of each. This report shows that whether glass is
crushed separately and mixed later with minerals or crushed
together with minerals, the costs are broadly similar.

?The problem is that the premium for the glass cullet/ aggregate
blended product over a conventional mineral aggregate is around
$2 per tonne. This effectively means that using 5% glass cullet
in the mix may cost up to 30% more if low cost stone is

?With the aggregate industry now reporting a scarcity of stone in
the Auckland region in particular, we believe that using glass
from household recycling which cannot be used to make new glass
because it has been contaminated during collection would make
good sense.?

?And using glass locally in roads is economically viable if a
whole of life approach is adopted. Whilst it costs more to use a
glass blend rather than just minerals, if you factor in what it
would cost to landfill recovered glass it is a much cheaper
option overall.?

However Mr Webber says that the big question is who pays this

?Road construction projects are highly competitive and
contractors will always use the lowest cost product that complies
with specification. We are encouraging the government to show
leadership by placing a value on using sustainable aggregates so
that glass recovered locally is utilized in local

?One option could be to introduce a sustainable procurement
policy along the lines of that enacted in California. The
California Bill will require the California Department of
Transportation to use recycled aggregates in state paving
projects unless it is economically unfeasible.?

The Glass Packaging Forum was established to support and deliver
on the objective, commitments and targets of the New Zealand
Packaging Accord 2004. All members are levied according to how
much glass they use making it the first large scale product
stewardship initiative. Funds raised are available to assist
local councils, recycling operators and communities develop
commercially viable uses for recycled glass.


Sr. Keith E. Ripley

Temas Actuales LLC

e-mail: keith.ripley@no.address


<> El Equipo Verde

Autor del libro "Solid Wastes and Recycling Policy in Latin
America & the Caribbean"


Noticias ambientales de América Latina y el Caribe:

Las leyes/los reglamentos ambientales de todo America Latina y el

Perspectivas sobre la evolucion de politica sobre el medio
ambiente, salud publica y defensa del consumidor en America
Latina y el Caribe:

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