By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
County testing use of ground glass in asphalt
new deh ground glass for roads 1
Barton County Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips points out the ground glass as it appears in a road surface. The ground recycled glass from Sunflower Diversified Services is being tested in road-patching mixes. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

The Sunflower Diversified Services Recycling Center is located at 5523 10th St. in Great Bend. It can be reached at 620-793-5800. One can also call Recycling Coordinator Sarah Krom at 620-792-1321. Hours are: Monday, Wednesday and Friday – 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.Tuesday and Thursday – 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.Saturday – 9 a.m. to noon 

 The Barton County Road and Bridge Department has begun testing the inclusion of finely ground glass in the asphalt it uses to pave rural black-tops, Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips said.

He said the asphalt was mixed using the recycled crushed glass (glassphault mix). The material was placed on roadways in the Beaver area.

The glass comes from Sunflower Diversified Services. The agency uses a grinder it purchased last year, but it has just recently accumulated enough glass to be of use to Phillips.

“So far, it’s looking pretty good,” Phillips said of the testing. They will keep an eye on the roads for the next several months and when more glass becomes available, do some more sampling next year.

Up to now, Phillips said the county has purchased 20 tons of the glass from Sunflower. That may sound like a lot, but that is just a drop in the bucket compared to the volume of small rock needed for the department’s paving efforts.

Phillips said they would like to be able to mix up to 5 percent glass with the half-inch chip they use. This would mean between 1,000 to 1,500 tons of the glass.

So. Phillips said he would like to get his hands on more of the recycled material. Right now, the cost for the glass, which comes in a variety of sizes, is about the same as the rock chips.

However, if it were bought in larger quantities, the cost would be lower. This could save the county money.

And there’s the problem. Sunflower is having a difficult time getting glass to recycle.

County officials and the County Commission issued a plea to county residents to drop their empty bottles, jars and other glass off at Sunflower’s recycling facilities.

“We are looking at every avenue we can to increase the amount of glass we take in,” said Sarah Krom, Sunflower’s recycling coordinator. Individuals are pretty good about bring their items in, and now Krom is working with local businesses that produce high volumes of empty glass – restaurants and bars.

She said businesses can bring their glass to the Recycling Center in Great Bend, or to drop-off points in Larned and Ellinwood. Or, she said, they can arrange to have the glass picked up by Sunflower personnel.

In less than year, Sunflower has ground 28 tons of glass. Krom said they have been busy, but can always be busier.

“This is an outlet for their recycled glass,” Phillips said. “It keeps glass out of the landfill.”