In Uruguay they convert recycled glass into sand for the construction sector

Inspenet, 2 marzo 2023

Converting glass from bottles and jars into sand for construction is the objective of “Arenas de Vidrio”, a pioneering recycling initiative that emerged in Uruguay.

In 2018, the entrepreneur Ana Paula Demaría began to investigate waste and shape a project that, as she expressed in an interview with EFE, was based on finding a solution for the various glass containers that are discarded every day.

“The idea of the project was to start looking for alternatives at the local level that were not the reuse of that raw material to make new glass, because we do not have the capacities in the country (for it),” explains the founder and current director of Arenas of glass.

To which, according to the entrepreneur, Uruguay, which does not have its own glass industry, imports all the glass that is consumed locally, until now the discarded material ended up buried in a landfill or was left loose in the environment, even in the courses of water.

1495 arenas de vidrio

Demaría says that, at first, the project focused on making a mixture with cement from glass to build tiles. However, the sand resulting from the process can also be used to pave streets or incorporated as a substitute for natural sand in water filters.

In 2022, following a visit to the Arenas de Vidrio processing plant -located in Montevideo-, the local government of the department (province) of Florida (center) was interested in the initiative and signed an agreement to recycle glass in its locations .

One month after this alliance with the Florida City Hall, work does not stop at the Demaría processing plant, which already receives between 600 and 700 kilos of glass in containers and returns the same amount of sand to build.

“Today we are using the sand for blocks and tiles, which will be used for the new animal shelter that we are building,” the general director of Health and Environmental Management for Florida, Germán Lapasta, told EFE.

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