Glass recycling service breaks through

WASTE NOT: August 08 2018 , Deidre Nxumalo-Freeman of DNF waste services with some of the products made from recycled glass on display at their factory in Wilsonia.
WASTE NOT: August 08 2018 , Deidre Nxumalo-Freeman of DNF waste services with some of the products made from recycled glass on display at their factory in Wilsonia.
Image: Michael Pinyana

DNF waste and environmental services, based in East London, has added yet another recycling programme to its repertoire.

Glass, which would usually be sent to a landfill site, is now being turned into “glass sand” that can be used as an abrasive for blasting paint and other materials from hard surfaces and can replace sand as filler in concrete.

DNF director Deidre Nxumalo-Freeman, said the company had been performing this type of recycling or reuse since January this year.

“We crush the glass to produce five different fractions of glass sand that is then sieved using a rotary sieve for the different market requirements,” she said.

“We use mainly windscreen [non-laminated] and windowpane glass that currently end up in landfills to produce our DNF Glass Sand.

“We use a small percentage of bottle glass to produce glass sand but it requires a process to remove the labels. Most of the bottle glass we send to Consol currently for recycling.”

This “glass sand” has a wide variety of uses including sandblasting, aquarium gravel, a filtration media in water utilities and pools, replace golf bunker sand and act as a “partial cement substitute in a wide range of concrete based products” like tombstones, benches and countertops.

“We sell the glass sand in various packaging depending on the market needs. We have 100g bags for the arts and crafts markets, one, two, five, 10, 25 or 50kg bags for the landscaping [and] decorative paint industry [and] 1- ton bags for the sandblasting and decorative paint industries.

“The market for our glass sand is increasing. Local nurseries are stocking our glass sand for its decorative properties in gardens and landscaping. The sandblasting industry is also very receptive to our product,” she added.

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