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Building with Bottles – Foam Glass Aggregate Closes Pennsylvania Recycling Loop

Nov 30, 2017 • by PA Recycling Markets Center
The Keystone of Recycling Markets Development

HARRISBURG, PA – With the emergence of new innovation, a ready supply of recycled mixed-color glass, strong business acumen, and persistence, the team at AeroAggregates, LLC was awarded the 2017 William M. Heenan Recycling Markets Development Award by the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center (RMC) for bringing sharp-free foam glass aggregate production to Pennsylvania.

Solving a significant recycling industry problem through finding a manufacturing solution for broken, mixed-color, recycled glass while producing a high-value, high-volume engineered product, another new market has been found for Pennsylvania. “When broken, mixed-color glass is smaller than one-quarter inch in size, it becomes almost impossible and cost-challenging to sort into individual colors, often incurring disposal of the material,” said Robert Bylone, Jr., Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center. “AeroAggregates has solved this long standing problem,” added Bylone.

The glass placed at the curb or recycling depot has now become the number one supply to AeroAggregates product. AeroAggregates product is an ultra-lightweight, foam glass aggregate that can be used to structurally support bridges, skyscrapers, high-speed rail lines, with “near endless possibilities for engineered, geotechnical applications,” according to Dr. Archie Fishill, P.E., the CEO and founder of the business. AeroAggregate visually resembles the lightweight lava rock in a gas grill or a piece of coral, and is only about 15% of the weight of traditional structural aggregates.

Herb Northrop, Chief Operating Officer of AeroAggregates proudly states, “We have solved a historic problem in recycling, making a high-value, transformative product from a difficult to recycle material in a truly closed loop scenario.  All while helping cities and agencies reduce costs through engineering innovation.”

Not only has the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center recognized AeroAggregates, LLC with their annual Markets Development Award, RMC has assisted AeroAggregates in building their business interests through analytical work and compositional review of the product. “RMC looks forward to a long-term relationship with AeroAggregates, continuing technical assistance in their endeavors,” said Bylone.

Tom McGrath, President of AeroAggregates, notes their facility is the first of its kind in North America and that the first foam glass aggregate supported roadway in North America is located in the Philadelphia Navy Yard Complex. Other projects are rapidly expanding into mass transit, Interstate 95, utilities, green roofs, and more. Interest in the product has also been expressed by many state department of transportation agencies, especially in the Northeast United States.

Acknowledging the first circular use of the innovative product in North America and representing the Wolf Administration, Secretary Patrick McDonnell of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) will host an event at the construction site, Langley Avenue in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. For more information, please contact the RMC at 717.948.6660.

The William M. Heenan, Jr. Recycling Markets Development Award is the only award if its type given annually in Pennsylvania, and is named in memory of William M. “Bill” Heenan, Jr. Heenan, a lifelong international ambassador of the recycling industry who was instrumental in supporting the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to initially vision and fund inception of the RMC.

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