Who Needs Gravel Pits? Let’s Crush Glass!

by jhwygirl

Found in a comment buried in spam since this past Saturday, Pronghorn asks the question of whether crushed glass could be the answer to eliminating our need for gravel from open pit mines.

Not a bad question – and at the very least, isn’t it worth doing some cost analysis? While I realize that there will always be a need for gravel, how many new gravel pits could be eliminated by using crushed glass as a component of roads and roadbed construction?

Again – consider the closed industrial Stimson Mill, with the railroad that runs through it? Located right off of I-90? Isn’t railway transportation supposedly cheapest?

DEQ has its traveling crusher – and they’ve got this webpage with glass crushing information and other links, like one titled Market Development Work.

Imagine if that industrial wasteland and DEQ cleanup site could be turned into a regional recycling center, capitalizing on its location and optimum access to railway infrastructure?

Hell – I bet there’s even grants for stuff like that. Montana could probably use a regional recycling facility and processing plant. I mean, consider that Butte recently got a $10 million dollar (or some huge amount) silicone recycling plant, supported with some state economic grant, along with tax incentives.

Thanks Pronghorn.

  1. goof houlihan

    Sure. Here’s the cost analysis. What does sand cost/ton? What does pulverized glass cost/ton?

    Who’s building anything, anyway?


  2. I’ve used glass aggregates in decorative concrete before and it does look good, but it has to be sanded down. The problem I could see would be that the stuff is sharp. That would keep it from being used in something like a sidewalk, but as far structural or road use, I could see it.

    A while back, there was a movement of using trash glass in asphalt. Not sure where it ever went. I know they use finely crushed glass in non-skid, at least some varieties.

  3. jim

    The stuff that they crush on earth day in Caras Park is not sharp. It can be used as pathway material even. The stuff you put in decorative is not necessarily crushed but just broken for effect.

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