British Glass and GTS have started work on a 4.5-year 9m euro European project to recycle glass from buildings.
Most of the glass from buildings is currently used as aggregate, or is sent to landfill. British Glass is investigating how more glass from buildings (windows and architectural panels from refurbishment and demolition projects) could be recycled back into glass. It’s also investigating the addition of waste glass to eco-cement and eco-concrete.
According to British Glass, each tonne of cullet used saves around 246kg of CO2 emissions. Although it’s technically possible to recycle glass from buildings, up to now it has been difficult to prevent contamination and make the system financially viable, it says.
British Glass CEO Dave Dalton – “Finding ways to use more recycled glass reduces the amount of energy needed to make new glass – beneficial for the environment and for manufacturers because it reduces energy demand”
The “FISSAC” project will map the barriers, find best practice and develop recommendations to help make the financial case for recycling building glass back to glass.
For situations where glass-to-glass recycling is not feasible, the project will investigate using glass as an additive to cement and concrete – including full scientific analysis and testing of the materials and pilot builds.
“Finding ways to use more recycled glass reduces the amount of energy needed to make new glass – beneficial for the environment and for manufacturers because it reduces energy demand,” explained British Glass CEO Dave Dalton.
“Also finding other uses for waste glass prevents glass from going to landfill and creates secondary markets for this extraordinary material. British Glass is pioneering a win-win relationship between manufacturing and the environment.”
Valli Murthy, British Glass’ Environmental Advisor commented: “We know it is possible to successfully recycle building glass because it has been done in the past.
“If we can make recycling easier and more commercially viable, this will benefit much of the supply chain and the environment. We can only achieve this through collaboration, and we welcome companies across Europe with interests in construction, demolition and recycling to work with us.”