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First motorway laid with used glass (30.05.03)

The M6 in Cheshire has become the first motorway in the UK to be resurfaced using glass cullet.

A £6 million scheme will see thousands of tonnes of glass replacing a proportion of limestone in an aggregate material termed 'Glasphalt' by suppliers RMC Aggregates. RMC said it developed Glasphalt, a "coated macadam containing up to 30% crushed glass," as a means of using up large quantities of used glass. The other main constituents of the material are limestone and bitumen.

Cost Ian Southcott of RMC said: "Glass performs in a very similar fashion to the natural aggregate it replaces. By using the glass in this way, it does not go to landfill and in addition the natural material it replaces is conserved. Glass is no more expensive to include and therefore the final product has an equivalent cost to its natural counterpart."

RMC's principal source of cullet is the recycle-more-glass scheme which collects mixed bottles from pubs, clubs and restaurants. The scheme's previous owner Valpak sold the collection business to collector and processor Berryman in April 2003. Innovative Freda Rashdi, Highways Agency project manager, said: "This innovative material has been evaluated for use in road construction by the Highways Agency and has passed all the tests."

The works on the M6 will last for 12 weeks and cover both carriageways of a 4km section between junctions 18 and 19 near Knutsford in Cheshire. The first phase is due to be completed by the August bank holiday. There are also plans to use Glasphalt in a similar project on the M50 between junctions one and two.

This article was kindly provided by ScoWaste.

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