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SESI Obtains Use of Recycled Glass Aggregate
November 14, 2017

A red steamroller in the foreground on a dirt lot with a bridge in the background.

SESI and its client, Sims Municipal Recycling (Sims), recently secured a Use Determination from NJDEP for certain exempt uses of Recycled Glass Aggregate (RGA) produced at the Sims Facility in Jersey City. Sims RGA is a product of the New York City residential recycling program. RGA consists of a crushed glass material that is cycled through advanced processing systems that separate and removes plastics, leaded glass, and clear glass (“flint”). The remaining processed RGA is utilized as an alternative fill material for construction sites.

While Sims RGA has had a Beneficial Use Determination (BUD) from New York State for many years and has received project-specific approvals for many NJ construction sites, this new use determination is an important milestone for RGA, whereby the Department has granted a formal “determination of exemption” from NJDEP Solid Waste regulations provided the RGA material meets residential soil remediation standards. This Use Determination applies to:

  1. General construction fill blended and non-blended with other soils;
  2. Aggregate in making cement or in concrete or bituminous mixes such as pavement surfaces, if accepted by the manufacturer;
  3. Aggregate base courses and sub-bases blended with other aggregates;
  4. Stabilized shoulders, banks, and select material surfacing, blended and non-blended with soils;
  5. An alternative to Sand Infiltration media for basins and septic systems, if approved by other State or local agencies, as applicable; and/or,
  6. Feedstock for lightweight fill product if accepted by the manufacturer.

This NJDEP determination contributes to the growing state-wide effort to “close the loop” on one-time use waste streams through recycling. Not only does this determination aid facilities like Sims to distribute their products for use in an environmentally-conscious way, but also opens cost-effective alternative fill markets for those in need of construction materials. SESI tests all RGA produced by Sims in accordance with the Fill Material Guidance for SRP Sites, version 3.0, dated April 2015, in order to document the environmental quality of the RGA and verify that it is below the Residential Direct Contact Soil Remediation Standard (RDCSRS). Any material that does not meet the RDCSRS is removed and disposed of at regulated facilities. The use of RGA as clean fill in New Jersey is currently only available from Sims.

The relatively low cost of producing RGA makes it an inexpensive and sustainable alternative to the general site fill in certain applications. RGA can be used to substantially reduce material costs and has been utilized by SESI’s clients to offset high construction costs, thereby increasing project profitability. SESI has approved RGA for our clients as clean fill in order to backfill remedial excavations below and above the water table. The material has also been used in major NJ Turnpike Authority projects. RGA can also be blended with other soils or aggregate materials to create different structural properties depending on the application.

SESI can help you determine if RGA is the right material for your project and assist you with all of your geotechnical and environmental engineering needs. We are well versed in the most up-to-date NJDEP Site Remediation Program rules and guidance, and we have several Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRP) on staff.

For more information on Recycled Glass Aggregate, please contact Justin Protasiewicz, PE at (973) ­808-­9050

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