Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology - (M.S.)


Federated Department of Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Daniel E. Bunker

Second Advisor

Gareth J. Russell

Third Advisor

Phillip Barden


Every year, an estimated 12.3 million tons of glass are generated in the United States. Of all glass generated, only 3.1 million tons are recycled. Despite the near endless recyclability of glass waste, recycling rates in the United States remain low. This is primarily due to the lack of color separation and presence of non-recyclable materials associated with single-stream curbside collection used in many municipalities throughout the country. These factors make recycled glass unusable for many glass bottle manufacturers, causing the majority of glass placed in a recycling bin to eventually be landfilled. The purpose of this research is to develop a novel construction material as an alternative reuse pathway for mixed-color waste glass.

In this research, the characteristics of material made from recycled glass cullet and recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic are examined. Compression testing results show a maximum compressive strength of 3700 psi for the mixture containing 25% PET and 75% RGA, roughly equivalent to that of single home residential concrete. Available durability testing results indicate that the material is well suited for an outdoor environment with mass losses of less than 0.08% after five months of outdoor weathering and less than 0.5% after 54 freeze/thaw cycles. Further research should include a complete life cycle analysis to quantify the environmental benefits and explore additional processing techniques such as adding dyes for color or molding the material into unique shapes.

Included in

Biology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.