From waste to resource: an environmentally friendly solution to a worldwide problem
A Welsh company claims that it has developed a process to turn mixed solid waste into a new encapsulated, inert, recycled material with a huge variety of potential applications.
It is clear that what’s needed is an energy efficient process that can be implemented at existing landfill sites to take out what is already in the ground and use it to produce a new product, thereby reducing the volume of what is in the ground and effectively decontaminating the land.
Too good to be true?
You might think so, but Swansea-based Globally Greener Solutions say that they have invented a low-energy cold process that, using existing, readily available machinery, turns waste into a non-leaching inert material called Glowasol, which can be moulded into a huge variety of products without the need for injection moulding.
An article in the ‘Advances Wales Journal’, sponsored by the Welsh Assembly, explains that all types and combinations of waste can be input to the process, including plastics, wood, glass, papers, cardboard, printed circuit boards, metal, tarmac, solvents, paints and even banknotes!
What’s more, the resultant product can be waterproof, fire resistant, bulletproof and acid resistant, as well as having high mechanical strength (stronger than concrete), high insulation properties, high soundproofing properties and being environmentally friendly. The product is currently undergoing independent testing in collaboration with the GeoEnvironmental Research Project Phase 2 by Cardiff University.
In addition, Globally Greener Solutions say that their total waste recycling solution creates no waste products from any of the processes as any waste is simply incorporated back into the mixed waste input stream. In comparison, they cite tyre recyclers as generating around 6000 tonnes of waste fibre per annum and a typical incinerator as generating around 3500 tonnes of waste product each year, all of which requires separate disposal.
Glowasol can apparently be made into a huge variety of objects, for example building blocks, patio slabs, pallets, gravestones and fence panels. Better still, the products can be recycled again and again. What could be greener than that?
Will it catch on? The Waster will let you decide. Take a look yourselves.