Project Background

milestone-signals-industry-recognition-of-quality-product-Issue-2-p4-5-3The MAV is the peak body for Victoria’s 79 local Councils that plays a key facilitation role in transport and asset management issues across the local government sector in Victoria. The MAV’s Step Asset Management Program, funded by the 79 Councils, is recognised as a leading edge methodology in raising the performance of local government in terms of asset management strategies and practices.

The use of recycled materials in road construction by Local Government in Victoria has plateaued in recent years. Meanwhile, large stockpiles s) and crushed glass (200,000 tonnes) are growing at a rapid rate across Victoria. MAV has obtained funding from Sustainability Victoria (SV), in addition to its own funding, to continue to establish acceptance for the use of recycled materials in civil construction by local governments in Victoria.

  • An alliance of government and industry groups partnered together in 2009 to develop new road and footpath uses for recycled glass and brick – an Australian first.
  • In Victoria, Class 3 roads currently only allow the use of 3 per cent recycled brick.
  • Roads generally have three levels – a sub-base pavement, a base pavement, and an asphalt top
  • The sub-base is the main load-bearing layer – poor sub-base construction or use of the wrong materials can cause upper surfaces to crack.
  • Quarry rock has traditionally been used for the construction of the sub-base
  • Any new materials, like crushed glass, require proof it can withstand at least 20 years of heavy traffic
  • In 2009, the MAV received funding from Sustainability Victoria to engage Swinburne University to undertake laboratory testing of crushed brick and glass for the base and sub-base of footpaths and shared pathways.

Phase 1 – Test and Trial

  • Swinburne University’s Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure conducted laboratory tests using up to 50 per cent blends of crushed brick and crushed glass in the base and sub-base of footpath and shared path constructions.
  • Findings showed that all blends up to 30 per cent glass matched or exceeded VicRoads specifications
  • Demonstration sites were identified to conduct field testing to assess real-world performance
  • In November 2009, the Alex Fraser Group commenced a road trial at the entrance to its Western Metropolitan Recycling Facility in Laverton
  • Nine sections were laid, each with different blends of recycled glass and recycled concrete or crushed rock. Sections were constructed to the specifications required for arterial and local roads.
  • In June 2010, the first council demonstration site was a shared pathway at Anderson Creek Road in the City of Manningham – 15 tonnes of crushed glass was used in 240 metres of pathway.

Phase 2 – Specification Update

  • In 2010, VicRoads developed a new specification for up to 15% recycled content to be used in road construction
  • As part of this outcome crushed brick will be defined as an ‘additive’ and not a ‘foreign material’.
  • The Australian Road Research Board is assessing field trial sites and, using the results, will develop an updated specification to allow higher percentages of crushed glass/brick to be used
  • Swinburne University and VicRoads will also test various blends of crushed glass for road usage.
  • Sustainability Victoria is developing a web-based information hub to help support councils’ use of recycled content in road and footpath construction.

Project Partners

  • Packaging Stewardship Forum of the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) – funding partner for project demonstration sites and establishment of new specifications
  • Municipal  Association of Victoria (MAV) – funding partner on behalf of Victorian local government (which is responsible for 85% of statewide road network)
  • Sustainability Victoria –funding partner for the Swinburne University laboratory testing and developing a web-based information hub to support councils
  • Manningham City Council – demonstration site trial
  • Brimbank City Council – demonstration site trial
  • Swinburne University’s Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure – laboratory testing of recycled content
  • Alex Fraser Group – supplier of recycled materials, demonstration site trial
  • VicRoads
  • Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) – develop new construction specifications incorporating recycled glass and brick for use by local government

Benefits of Using Recycled Materials

  • Large stockpiles of crushed brick (1.4 million tonnes) and crushed glass (250,000 tonnes) are growing at a rapid rate in Victoria
  • Glass accounts for one quarter of all recyclables collected from Victoria’s kerbside recycling services, and 13 per cent of all items dropped off at waste transfer facilities.
  • Almost 157,000 tonnes of glass were recovered in Victoria in 2008–09
  • Glass breakage causes difficulties for the recovery of the different colours of glass for reprocessing back into glass bottles and alternative markets are needed to boost recycling rates.
  • Glass is already being used extensively in pavement construction in the UK, EU, US and New Zealand.
  • More than half the glass recycled annually in New Zealand is now used by alternative markets such as the construction market.
  • Until xxxx <date> road construction only allowed xx % recycled brick

Key benefits of including recycled brick and glass in road and footpath construction includes:

  • Support local green industries by creating new market opportunities for recycled materials
  • Ongoing reduction in construction costs
  • Reduced recovery costs for glass (collection, processing and reuse), and increased diversion of glass from landfills
  • Reduced need for virgin materials in base materials without any reduction in performance.
  • Recycled Road and Footpath Demonstration Sites

Council demonstration sites using crushed concrete and crushed glass blends have been established at:

Manningham – Anderson Creek Road, Doncaster East
Crushed glass footpath construction

Brimbank – Quinn St
Crushed glass construction

Port Phillip – Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
Crushed glass footpath construction

Surf Coast – The Esplanade
Recycled concrete road construction

Bayside – Ludstone St, Hampton
Crushed glass footpath construction

Bayside Tramway Pde
Crushed glass local road construction