Lismore Might Have The Answer To NSW’s Glass Crisis

The city of Lismore might have an innovation to any glass company, like Economy Glass, looking to recycle might have interest in. This is good, as this means the regional city might have the answer to an issue plaguing New South Wales that’s led to kilotonnes of glass sitting around gathering dust in stockpiles and landfills across Australia.

People with inside information on the industry say that the issue started due to regulation issues in the industry, problems with the market, and no other place for the unused glass to go. There has also been reports about a network of transport companies leaving the wasted glass by the roadside, and the rail to Queensland in order to avoid the AU$138/tonne New South Wales landfill levy. They head for Queensland, due to the Council areas within 150km of the NSW-Queensland border don’t have to pay the levy.

Notably however, the Lismore City Council, despite being 150km of Queensland, does not run with the levy exemption and instead handles the processing of its own waste. The city uses an innovative and unique recycling system that turns the unused glass into a construction material, via crushing into a sand-like composite material.

The Lismore Council’s Kevin Trustum, the Commercial Services Business Manager, stated that the city had managed to handle the crushing of around 6 kilotonnes of discarded glass annually, some of this being glass from the four shires neighboring Lismore.

According to the City Council, it’s hopeful, that they, a small rural council, is able to handle all that waste. With them expressing ideas in how the larger, metropolitan council areas can handle waste, and the amount of waste these metropolitan cities can tackle.

Trustum says that the glass ‘sand’ made from the waste had been tested and refined to meet the NSW Environment Protection Authority standards and regulations, with the council then using it for their roads , backfill and bedding for pipes.

Lismore University is also handling research on the glass sand, mixing it with other materials in order to increase its practical uses.

The glass processing plant in Lismore was built in 2013, and was part of the Lismore Council’s Lismore Materials Recovery Facility, which cost AU$3.65M, and processes 15,000 worth of recyclables annually.

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