Trialing recycled plastic and glass in concrete footpaths at Hoppers Crossing

Case study

The concrete foopath at Hoppers Crossing that contains recycled plastics and glass

In a Victorian first, 200 metres of concrete footpath – made with the equivalent of 199,000 recycled glass and plastic bottles – has been laid at Geddes Park in Hoppers Crossing.

With thousands of tonnes of flexible plastics and glass fines ending up in landfill each year, Swinburne University and Polytrade Recycling conducted a research project in 2016 to repurpose this waste in concrete footpaths.

The positive results of this research led them to work with Wyndham City Council to increase the uptake of this recycled content by trialing the concrete mix design.

Sustainability Victoria provided $172,100 for Swinburne University to undertake laboratory testing (stage 1) and to construct and monitor the footpath (stage 2).

This project is part of the $2.7 million Research, Development and Demonstration grants program which aims to stimulate new markets for recovered resources in Victoria.

A gloved hand holds recycled materials that are included in the concrete footpath

What’s next?

  • The Swinburne Research team will undertake further monitoring of the trial site to understand and report on durability and performance including if (or how) any plastics could potentially be released from the solid bound pavement
  • Monitoring over the coming months will assess compliance with Australian construction standards, with the concrete mix design hopefully made available for use in other council infrastructure across Victoria.

Project background

  • In 2016, Sustainability Victoria and Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation co-funded seven research and development projects with five universities and their collaborative industry partners
  • Swinburne University, in collaboration with industry partner, Polytrade Recycling received $100,000 in funding to investigate the feasibility of replacing virgin materials with recycled glass fines and plastics in concrete
  • This initial funding provided Swinburne University with research results that have informed the current research, development and demonstration project.

See the full list of grant recipients.

Want to know more? Get in touch with:

Jean Young

Environmental Project Advisor | Resource Recovery Strategies and Programs

03 8626 8768

jean.young@sustainability.vic.gov.au