Recycled glass gets new life as urban infrastructure

Released 04/08/2020

A new collaboration between the ACT Government, Re-Group and Icon Water will see recycled glass used in Icon Water pipe construction projects across the ACT.

The glass, which is turned into sand at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Hume will be used by Icon Water as pipe bedding for water infrastructure around the ACT.

Following a successful trial, this has now been approved for use by the ACT Environment Protection Authority.

“The ACT Government is committed to building a circular economy by using recycled materials in infrastructure projects around Canberra,” said Minister for Recycling and Waste Reduction Chris Steel said.

“All the glass material that is collected in our household yellow recycling bins comes to the Hume Materials Recovery Facility and we are now able to turn it into a new, valuable glass sand product on site.”

While clean bottles from our container deposit scheme go on to be remanufactured into other glass products, glass sand is made from co-mingled glass which makes up approximately 30% of Canberra’s household recycling.

“This is a great recycling outcome, because our glass sand will replace Icon Water’s use of natural river sand that is currently trucked to the ACT at a high cost, both financially and to the environment.”

Icon Water and their contractors use a huge 200 tonnes of recovered sand for their piping projects across the ACT every year.

In July the ACT Government jointly funded $21 million in upgrades the Hume MRF, which will provide glass washing facilities to provide better quality crushed glass sand products for use in a variety of infrastructure projects.

“Impurities will be removed with the new washing facilities at our recycling plant so that thousands of tonnes of glass can be used in a range of civil infrastructure projects.”

For more information on ways to recycle in the ACT please visit:

Quotes attributable to Ray Hezkial, Managing Director at Icon Water:

“As Canberra’s provider of water and sewerage services, we recognise the role we play in the protection of public health and the environment. A key component of this is ensuring that we implement sustainable practices throughout the work that we do.

“We’re really pleased to collaborate with the ACT Government, Re.Group and the Materials Recovery Facility to create a product that is not only fit for purpose but provides a sustainable, local and cost-effective solution for the purpose of embedding sewerage infrastructure.”

- Statement ends -

Section: Chris Steel, MLA | Media Releases

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