Recycled Glass in Construction and Paving Materials

Glass collected through the local single-stream recycling system represents a significant financial burden on the local recycling program due to lack of a market for mixed glass. Many municipalities have stopped glass recycling. However, mixed glass can be used in place of some of the aggregate in asphalt and cement for some applications. The objective of this project would be to determine the extent (technically, economically, and legally) to which glass could be used in local government street repair and building projects, how such use could impact the local glass recycling market, and the extent to which prices are likely to support a business to clean and prepare the recycled glass for this new local use.

Project Mentors

Dr. Pranshoo Solanki (Construction Mgmt.)
Dr. Guang Jin (Environmental Health)
Dr. Tom Bierma (Environmental Health)

Recruitment Status:


Competencies needed by faculty and students involved

Construction – technical specifications for construction materials.
Recycling/materials processing – production of recycled glass and cleaning the material for use or sale.
Business and economics – assessing supply, demand, revenue and costs for a new business in glass cleaning.
Legal – this should be minimal – related to state and federal requirements for paving materials (probably handled under “Construction” expertise).

Final Deliverable:

An assessment of the technical, legal, and economic feasibility of using locally-produced recycled glass in local government street and building projects.