The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) has approved a new highway specification that allows crushed glass to be recycled into the gravel used to strengthen roads. The specification, initiated by the Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling (ALPAR) and ADOT&PF’s Materials Engineer Committee, focused on identifying how to process household waste glass into a long-lasting construction material.
“ADOT&PF’s new specification for using crushed container glass as a construction aggregate will help foster changes to the way we think about and use recycled products across Alaska,” ALPAR executive director Mary Fisher says. “It will help spur local manufacturing of more green products, create jobs and reduce landfill waste.”
The use of crushed glass may decrease the amount of glass placed into landfills, while reducing ADOT&PF's need for rock and gravel used to strengthen highway and airport subsurface. The recycled glass will be placed in the base of construction projects and will not be exposed.
“ADOT&PF recognizes the value of reducing the amount of waste in landfills,” ADOT&PF acting commissioner Pat Kemp says. “We know that recycled products specifically processed and manufactured for construction work will not affect long-term performance.”
Types of glass products that can be recycled in construction projects include food and beverage containers, dishes and glass from building windows. The recycling process will turn the recycled glass into a useable product that looks like shiny pea gravel and feels like worn beach glass.