Post-consumer Cullet and Potential Engineering Applications in North America

  • Ifeanyi Ndukwe
  • Qiuyan YuanEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Sustainable Civil Infrastructures book series (SUCI)


Finding viable markets for post-consumer cullet generated in North America has been very challenging due to the predominant collection practice of glass commingled with other recyclables such as paper, ceramics, food particles, and glass of fluctuating colors and compositions. Thus, more than 60% cullet still ends up in the landfill. In this paper, potential end markets that could utilize this type of cullet with minimal level of processing have been identified. Based on several field trials conducted as well as the evaluation of the engineering properties, environmental impact, and safety issues, mixed cullet aggregates could be successfully blended with natural aggregates at different proportions for road-based applications, asphalt pavement, and concrete, utility and other construction projects. The debris level of the cullet aggregates for most of the applications should be maintained at 5%. Despite the vast potential end markets being identified, market demands still remain low. One of the major obstacles is the relatively high processing cost for cullet in comparison to competing natural aggregates. Therefore, to enhance recovery and develop strong market demands for cullet, there is a need for government interventions through the provision of recycling incentives, landfill ban, raising of tipping fees, and enforcing laws on the use of cullet as a construction aggregate.


Cullet Engineering application Glass recycling Aggregate 



This research was financially supported by Green Manitoba (WRAPP 14-028) and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC RGPIN-2014-05510).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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