Turning waste glass into new Queensland roads


glass sand, qld, recycling, renewables, sustainability,


A new glass beneficiation plant supported through the Resource Recovery Industry Development Program (RRIDP) is turning waste glass into new Queensland roads.

While you should never drink and drive, you might soon be travelling over a road built by your empty bottles. Kriaris Recyclables, a new glass beneficiation plant in Rockhampton supported through the Resource Recovery Industry Development Program (RRIDP), is producing “glass sand” to be used in Queensland roadworks.

The plant is already processing over 7,200 tonnes of glass per annum, diverting waste glass from landfill and producing a 96% clean glass output of viable product for civil and commercial construction in the region.

What is glass beneficiation and how does it work?

Beneficiation is the process of sorting, cleaning and crushing glass. In the case of the Kriaris Recyclables plant, delivered glass (from a local Containers for Change depot) is loaded into a Bottle Breaker Unit, which crushes the glass down into pieces smaller than 25mm.

From there, the glass travels beneath a powerful magnet which removes any metals present, before entering a nine metre-long delabelling drum which removes labels that are still attached to the glass.

The next step is to sort the glass into different sizes through a rotating perforated circular drum called a trommel screen. Glass pieces that are too large are returned to the start of the process, while the rest are further purified by jets of compressed air that remove any non-glass debris.

The “cleaned” and crushed glass is then transported to another crusher, where is it ground down into pieces less than 5mm – the desired size of “glass sand”.

A final screen is used to filter the glass by size once more, and then it is ready for storage. The process enables Kriaris Recyclables to process 8-12 tonnes of glass per hour.

What is recycled glass used for?

The resulting glass product (Recycled Cut Glass) can be used as a replacement for pipe bedding sand, road base and aggregate in asphalt production. With local processing reducing the cost, it is now a viable replacement for virgin product in civil and commercial construction in the region.

Local and sustainable recycling

This project has increased the sustainability of local processing for glass recycling in Central Queensland, processing glass collected through the Container Refund Scheme and from a number of local councils. This has reduced the need to transport glass to Brisbane for processing and created two new full-time equivalent jobs for local workers.

Kriaris Recyclables is also one of six recycling projects in Queensland to receive funding from the Queensland Recycling Modernisation Fund; delivered in partnership with the Australian Government. This will be utilised for an upgraded baler and conveyor for beverage containers. Plus, this equipment can process cardboard into bales for effective transportation.

Queensland’s resource recovery industries are delivering positive change

This is just one of the many recent successes of Queensland resource recovery industries. We’ve identified resource recovery as one of Queensland’s priority industries, which will promote more sustainable waste management practices that reduce the amount of waste produced by business, industry and households while also delivering economic and environmental benefits.

Find out more about our achievements on our dedicated Resource Recovery Homepage.

Source: © The State of Queensland (State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning) 2011–2023

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