Use of Crushed Recycled Glass in the Construction of Local Roadways

Project Details









Junliang (Julian) Tao




Aggregates, Feasibility analysis, Glass, Paving materials, Recommendations, Recycled materials, Road construction, Sustainable development, Waste products

Project description

Glass cullet is produced from crushing waste glass collected in municipal and industrial waste streams to a uniform size. Currently, it is primarily used in Ohio in new glass container manufacturing; however, only clear glass cullet can be used. As a result, colored glass cullet has a relatively low market value as color sorting can be expensive. When market prices drop too low for long periods, some of the glass is sent to landfills instead of subsequent recycling because storage space can be limited or costly. One possible solution is using crushed glass in the construction of civil infrastructures. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) does not have a specification for using glass cullet as an aggregate. This is in part due to concerns with the propensity for glass to strip in the presence of moisture resulting in issues with asphalt binder sticking in the surface course and an overall lack of a consistent supply of product. Although ODOT has chosen not to pursue the incorporation of glass cullet in interstate and highway applications, some local public agencies (LPA) are of the opinion that there may be an appropriate application of this material in the local system. The potential to mix crushed glass cullet into aggregates exists for many applications including roadway and parking lot base or leveling courses, glasphalt, pipe bedding and backfill, drainage material, fill and concrete. Using a recycled product, like crushed glass, can have environmental benefits to projects seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or National Green Building Standard (NGBS) certification. Because local roads have different traffic types, volumes, and patterns requiring the use of different types of mixtures and aggregates than those typically utilized for interstates and highways, research is needed to analyze the application of recycled crushed glass on local transportation projects. The goal of this research is to assess the feasibility of using crushed recycled glass as an aggregate in local roadway construction. The objective is to develop recommendations for implementing the use of crushed recycled glass in local roadway applications in Ohio that do not adversely affect the performance or durability of the pavement or structure. The results of this research will provide local officials with enhanced knowledge of recycled glass cullet and its potential for use in local transportation projects. The findings of this research will either validate or disprove the perception that utilizing glass cullet as part of an aggregate mix is feasible in local roadway construction and can lead to cost savings while maintaining performance. The results of this research may also produce environmental benefits as it could maximize the use of a recyclable material and lead to a reduction in landfills and waste