One tonne of crushed glass for Memorial Garden

The Samoa Conservation Society (S.C.S) has taken a lead in putting recycling to practical use by using crushed glass to build the new wheelchair access trail at the Art Whistler Memorial Garden.

In April the Samoa Recycling and Waste Management Association (S.R.W.M.A) successfully executed its first trial for a project that turns glass bottles into sand.

The recycled glass is suitable for use in garden design; the glass-derived sand can also be used to create road surfaces.

The sand is created by removing water completely from the end product, which improves road surface quality. 

Glass sand can be mixed with gravel and used separately or as an additive to asphalt.

It also reduces the cost of road construction because it can be mixed with gravel or used as the basis for the preparation of concrete mixture, as well as a sand or gravel substitute.  

The Art Whistler Memorial Garden is located at the Vailima Botanical Gardens.

It is to be built as a tribute to the late Dr. Art Whistler who dedicated his life to helping Samoa in ethnobotany and assisting with surveys of the nation’s plant life but also saving some rare and endangered species. 

In a telephone interview with the Samoa Observer on Monday afternoon, the S.C.S.’ President, James Atherton, said that the glass sand is composed of one tonne of old Coca-Cola bottles.

Mr. Atherton said the society is grateful to S.R.W.M.A for providing them with the crushed glass and hopes that it will lead to more crushed glass-based construction projects in Samoa in the near future. 

Mr. Atherton said that by making use of glass that usually goes to the landfill and with several bottles on the island, engineers construction sites are investing in an environmentally friendly material. 

He said that they are making use of damaged bottles for their projects, which makes the recycling process focused especially on waste material. 

“We’re not a waste management agency but we’re just more interested in promoting the idea, a green concept," he said.

S.C.S hopes to open the Art Whistler Memorial Garden in July and is currently working together with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E) to develop the trail and the garden.

The President of S.R.W.M.A, Marina Keil, said that they were excited that the S.C.S is the first organisation to trial their recycled glass sand. 

She stated that being able to put landfill-bound waste to use benefits the environment and should motivate others to think about how they might use crushed glass products. 

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