Following your glass
Thursday 22 August 2019
So far we’ve collected over 15 tonnes of glass in the Yarra Waste Revolution.
Glass can be recycled as many times as required, without any deterioration in quality. It is one of the very few products that can be completely recycled again and again.
If we don’t recycle it, it never decomposes. It takes 1 million years for glass to break down naturally
In the trial, thanks to your hard work separating your glass from your other recyclables, around 90% of what we’ve collected has been of high quality. It’s being turned into new bottles by recycler O-I. They then sell the bottles on to beverage companies.
The lower quality glass is sent to another company – Alex Fraser – to be used in road resurfacing.
Unfortunately, Yarra’s capital works program for this financial year doesn’t include any roads in the trial area, so this glass will used in resurfacing works in Richmond, Fitzroy, Collingwood, Carlton North and Alphington.
How is glass recycled?
Once your glass has been collected it is taken to a glass treatment plant. The glass is sorted by colour and washed to remove any impurities.
Producing glass cullet
After sorting, the glass is crushed and ground into tiny pieces. These finely crushed glass pieces are referred to as cullet.
Then the glass cullet is passed through a magnetic field, where metal contaminants like lids are removed. Other contaminants like paper and plastic are picked up manually or through an automated process.
Ceramic contaminants are removed from the glass cullet via a process known as fine sizing. The finely ground glass cullet is passed through various screens, leaving behind ceramic residues.
If, however, ceramic contaminants do pass through the various screens together with the glass cullet, the quality of the recycled glass will be affected.
Making recycled glass
The cullet is then melted.
This glass cullet can then be used in manufacturing recycled glass products like new glass containers and bottles.
To produce recycled glass of the desired colour, the recycled glass is decolourised and then dyed.