TURNING GLASS INTO ROAD BASE

TURNING GLASS INTO ROAD BASE
“Our program started when our Co-op members asked us to find a solution for glass waste. PGA is a good product, and we believe that the more people learn about it, the more glass we will be able to divert from landfill into practical use,” says Liz Bedard, executive director of NRRA, located in Chichester, New Hampshire .

CHICHESTER, NH – About a decade ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a study finding that processed glass added to aggregate results in less frost heaving of paved surfaces. It’s taken a few years, but now this relatively obscure aspect of the recycling industry -- processed glass aggregate (PGA) -- is attracting more attention and more proponents.


In 2004, the non-profit Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) began a PGA initiative in cooperation with New Hampshire the Beautiful, and discovered a popular program for many of the municipalities and small businesses that are members of NRRA.

NRRA works with CPRC Group of Scarborough, Maine to grind about 3,500 tons of glass annually at six NRRA member collection sites in New England . It takes one day to grind 300 tons of glass and ceramic products into a material that can be used as a road base, diverting the waste from landfills and saving tens of thousands of dollars in tipping fees.

In fact, to encourage the use of the product, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) created a spec for PGA in road base, allowing a ten percent mix with virgin aggregate.

“Our program started when our Co-op members asked us to find a solution for glass waste. PGA is a good product, and we believe that the more people learn about it, the more glass we will be able to divert from landfill into practical use,” says Liz Bedard, executive director of NRRA, located in Chichester, New Hampshire .

CPRC Group has three mobile Maxigrind 460 grinders to convert unwanted glass into a road base product. NRRA members who host the collection sites are able to dispense with the PGA as they wish. One NRRA member town, Lancaster, New Hampshire , provided the PGA free to a resident for use in building a driveway. Another member, New London, New Hampshire , built a town sidewalk base with PGA, eliminating the annual frustration of frost heaves that plagued the walkway.
“We started with 30 members providing 1,400 tons of glass per year Now we have 48 participating members, six collection sites, and process 3,500 tons of glass each year,” remarks Bedard.

NRRA has 300 members from Connecticut to Vermont , so the opportunity exists to grow the program further among its membership.

“CPRC provides the grinding equipment and the technicians to operate it. The Co-op handles the logistics of administering the program for our members. It’s just one of the many services we provide members to help them increase recycling rates,” comments Bedard.

Call Tom Kane at CPRC Group (207-883-3325) to learn about glass grinding. To learn more about NRRA visit their web site at: www.recyclewithus.org.