From the pantry to the patio. Dave Roberts, Mines and Minerals Officer for the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, writes about a local company's environmentally friendly initiative to use reuse crushed glass:
Our consumption of food, drink and other products leads to a lot of empty bottle and jars.
Hopefully, if not reused, the glass is disposed of in one of the many recycling collection points or doorstep collection bins.
Corlett Building Materials Limited, of Ballaharra, near St John’s, has developed Ecosand, a building product that reduces the environmental impact of new construction projects and provides a realistic, local end use for the significant glass element of waste discarded by Island residents and businesses.
Corlett receive around 1200 tonnes of glass each year, collected as part of the Government’s initiative to encourage recycling of waste.
Although the glass collected includes all types of empty containers, the volume is the equivalent to 2.7 million empty wine bottles.
Ecosand is made by crushing and grinding waste glass (after it has been cleaned and separated from substances such as tops or labels) into a granular material which be used as a substitute material for naturally occurring sand.
It can be used as a constituent ingredient in concrete products such as paving slabs, but most though, is used as bedding sand, beneath block paving or slabs.
The conversion of waste glass products into Ecosand avoids the need to export the glass, reduces demand on landfill and lessens the need to extract primary aggregates from the land.
These positive benefits contribute to the Island’s UNESCO Biosphere principles of protecting its natural resources and developing our economy in a sustainable way.