Trial to use crushed waste glass on roads successful

By Victor Ale 23 June 2022, 11:06PM

Samoa Government officials, donor partners and non-government organisation representatives have witnessed a trial using crushed waste glass for pavements and road maintenance.

The trial at the Tafaigata landfill on Thursday used “sand” created from crushed glass bottles (and all kinds of glass) mixed with asphalt and tar to create a new product to be used for building footpaths and road maintenance like filling potholes.

Among officials who witnessed the trial were Marina Orruela Monteoliva from the UNDP Samoa Office, Monty Jefferson (CERO Waste Project), Marina Keil (Samoa Recycling & Waste Management Association) and Ali‘imuamua Setoa Apo from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Workers of the local firm R&R Construction led the trial by mixing the sand with the asphalt and tar to create the new product using fire as to heat as the final mix. The end product was used to fill and patch-up potholes on the road.

Ms Keil said that they have already successfully created products using sand from crushed waste glass bottles. 

“We take the glass bottles, crush them in the machine to get sand, from this sand we’ve been able to create new products like [construction] bricks and headstones for graves,” she said. 

“And today we are trialling a new product to be used for road maintenance using sand from crushed glass as an aggregate.” 

Mr. Jefferson and Ms Monteoliva said the purpose of the project is to find a new marketable product that can be made from waste, which would essentially add value to the waste and highlight the long-term benefits, including creating employment opportunities for locals.

“Samoa Recycling & Waste Management Association has a partnership with SENESE so they employ four people with disabilities out of their team of seven,” Mr Jefferson said. 

“They were previously unemployed youth as well so it aims to help with COVID recovery… the people that were hit hard by COVID-19.” 

Ms Monteoliva added that the project also aims to divert glass from the landfill and put into good use as a recycled product. 

“The landfill has reached full capacity so all efforts [are being made] to try divert [glass] waste from the landfill,” she said. 

Another successful use of sand sourced from crushed waste glass was its use in the construction of the footpath at the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum at Vailima. 

“There’s a path up at R.L.S Museum which has integrated glass into concrete mixture so SRWMA [is] looking at diversifying the use of glass into products that can add value to waste the waste stream,” Mr Jefferson said.

MNRE official Ali‘imuamua also confirmed the trailing of the sand made from waste glass and indicated that he has seen it being used elsewhere.

“This is a pilot project we are trialling a new product made from glass waste as we have seen, [the new product] was used to patch [potholes] on the road,” he said. 

“Glass has also been used in other products such as bricks and headstones.”

Aliimuamua confirmed that the project has lowered the amount of waste that goes to the landfill, as other waste like glass are diverted to the SRWMA to be used for other purposes or as new products.

He also appealed to the public to dispose of their glass waste properly, preferably to the SRWMA where that glass waste will be used to create new products. 

“For any glass waste they have, all sorts of waste glass bottles and all sorts of waste glass products, separately package those and bring those to the SRWMA where we can re-use those for new products.”

By Victor Ale 23 June 2022, 11:06PM
Samoa Observer

Upgrade to Premium

Subscribe to
Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy unlimited access to all our articles on any device + free trial to e-Edition. You can cancel anytime.