NATIONAL RECYCLING WEEK: Glass Beneficiation Plant for CQ
CENTRAL Queensland is making another step in the right direction for recycling with the construction of a Glass Beneficiation Plant.
$600,000 in funding has been received from the National Packaging Covenant Industry Association and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to assist with the installation.
Once operational, more than 4000 tonnes of glass will be recycled locally through the plant each year.
The recycled glass, once crushed and cleaned through the plant, will meet Main Roads specifications, and allow it to be safely used for a wide range of purposes.
A large percentage of the glass consumed by the plant will be collected from local pubs and clubs as the project will introduce a commercial glass recycling service to those venues.
Within Central Queensland alone, more than 25% of waste from pubs and clubs is glass.
How does Glass Beneficiation work?
Glass was discovered by the Phoenicans more than 5000 years ago, which makes it one of the world's oldest forms of packaging.
Made from soda ash, sand and limestone, the material can be recycled an infinite number of times.
Glass beneficiation begins at collection, when glass is collected from homes, businesses and recycling sites and sent to the CQ Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).
The glass is then broken to form a product called 'fines' which is then sent to the glass beneficiation plant to be further treated to remove sugars and paper.
The CQ Glass Beneficiation Plant uses a new implosion technology to reduce the size of the fines. This technology allows only the glass to be broken down, with everything else, such as paper labels, remaining at their larger size.
The imploded glass then passes through a screen that captures everything that is over 12mm wide and removes it from the process. The imploded glass easily passes through the screen and moves onto a 3mm screen - and if necessary, a second implosion machine to break the glass down even further.
The glass fines, that are now less than 3mm in width, are fed into the dryer where temperatures reach approximately 250*C to remove all liquids and sugars from the glass.
The glass - that is now less than 3mm and clean - is known as 'cullet'. Locally, this cullet will be used as a sand replacement in construction.