Yarra Ranges Council installed recycled glass surface treatments on 2 roads, eliminating the need for traditional surface paint and improving safety and accessibility.
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A fully compliant, durable, skid-resistant aggregate coloured surface treatment made with Australian recycled glass or natural aggregates combined with a resin binder. This surface treatment is commonly used on roads, bridge surfaces, bus lanes and bicycle paths throughout Australia.
Product name and supplier
OmniGrip CST – Coloured surface treatment from OmniGrip Direct, Thomastown, Victoria.
Recycled material/s contained in product
The surface treatment used glass aggregates containing 70-80% Australian recycled glass, combined with a resin binder.
Percentage of recycled material in product
Total amount of recycled materials used
Product specifications and standards
OmniGrip Coloured Surface Treatment exceeds the performance requirements of VicRoads Specification 431.
Anderson St, Lilydale and Blacksmiths Way, Belgrave.
Yarra Ranges Council recognises that projects incorporating recycled materials showcase sustainability, support the local recycling industry, and encourage residents to adopt their own sustainable behaviours by showing them where their recycled items end up.
The council commissioned 2 projects in 2021-22 using a durable, skid-resistant coloured surface treatment made with Australian recycled glass or natural aggregates. One project was the first green bike lane in the Yarra Ranges, along Anderson Street, Lilydale. This bike lane is close to 2 existing shared paths and encourages people to make more short trips by bike - a key focus of Council’s Integrated Transport Strategy.
The second project was a decorative surface treatment along Blacksmiths Way, Belgrave, as part of a broader masterplan to activate the area and make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists. The surface is part of a design that highlights the importance of recycling and avoiding littering to protect the natural environment. This project was shortlisted at the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) Engineering Excellence Awards in May 2022.
These Yarra Ranges Council projects were supported by Sustainability Victoria’s Sustainable Infrastructure Fund.
While the use of at least 70% recycled materials limited the number of possible contractors, using this product was considered an important element of the project. OmniGrip Direct was ultimately identified through Sustainability Victoria’s Buy Recycled Directory as the only suitable supplier meeting this specification.
The key element of the project was the use of a high proportion of recycled materials which met the necessary industry standards and had the flexibility to achieve the desired outcomes. Research undertaken by the council concluded that the OmniGrip Coloured Surface Treatment, although more expensive than regular surface paint, had a significantly longer expected life span.
Council had an overall positive experience working with OmniGrip to install the two projects. Weather delayed installation as the surface treatment could not be installed during wet or humid conditions. The surface treatment also requires an extended drying and curing time which limited the amount of work that could be done in each session. These challenges can be addressed in future projects through adequate timelines and consideration of weather conditions.
The actual installation process however was fairly easy and quiet with minimal impact on abutting properties. Community feedback on the use of recycled products was generally positive, and council responded promptly to concerns raised about the suitable size of the aggregate and ensuring loose aggregate did not end up in drains.
Yarra Ranges Council is currently considering using the Coloured Surface Treatment as an entry treatment to a street with high pedestrian usage. The product has been shown to be both decorative and have environmental benefits.
“The new surface in Blacksmiths Way accompanies a nearby platypus mural as a reminder that our actions can directly help – or harm – native wildlife. This glass surface is a great step in improving Belgrave’s town centre and I know we are all keen to see more.”
Johanna Skelton, Lyster Ward, Yarra Ranges Council.
“This will be the first area to have formal bike lanes in Lilydale, improving rider safety around the shopping centre and school. Infrastructure that supports walking and cycling can help reduce congestion and encourage community members to enjoy their towns in new ways.”
Mark Varmalis, then Director for Environment and Infrastructure, Yarra Ranges Council
Council undertook traffic, pedestrian and cycle surveys prior to each of the projects being implemented. Surveys on Blacksmiths Way following the implementation of the decorative surface treatment showed a decrease in pedestrian and cyclist use on the surveyed weekday - however there was a 10% increase of pedestrians and 253% increase in cyclists on the weekend.
Follow-up surveys will be taken along Anderson Street in early 2023 to gain an understanding of the increased use by cyclists. Initial feedback has identified vehicles driving closer to the centreline, increasing the feeling of safety for cyclists, and the School Crossing Supervisors have reported feeling safer and buffered from traffic.
This sustainable form of road surface treatment with recycled glass will now be considered by the council for use across a broad spectrum of future projects.
For more information about this project, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The anti-skid recycled glass treatment applied to Anderson St Lilydale provides connection to two existing shared paths, encouraging people to take short trips by bike.
The Omnigrip road surface treatment is the first green bike lane in the Yarra Ranges and offers longer service life than traditional surface paint.
The decorative surface treatment along Blacksmiths Way, Belgrave, is part of a broader masterplan to activate the area and make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
The design highlights the importance of recycling and avoiding littering to protect the natural environment and was shortlisted at the IPWEA Engineering Excellence Awards in May 2022.