The Morton Arboretum in metropolitan Chicago installed a new walkway that is not only made with recycled glass, but it is also able to absorb pollutants, preventing them from washing down stormdrains.
The new surface is known as the FilterPave™ pavement system, and features as much as 90 percent recycled glass content.
Most of this glass comes from recycling centers, and it takes between 70 and 90 bottles to produce a square foot of pavement, according to the Chicago Tribune.
FilterPave is primarily designed to absorb car fluids, such as engine oil and transmission fluid. University of Wisconsin testing showed it to absorb 15 ounces of oil per cubic foot. It also absorbs water, making the pavement cooler during the summer.
The recycled glass is a mixture of different colors, which allows FilterPave to accept glass cullet that is unusable to make new containers.
For example, glass bottles and jars must be made from one color of glass, so when colors are mixed during recycling, this glass must be used as an additive in other products.
At the Morton Arboretum, FilterPave is being used for a 1,000-square-foot walkway that was unveiled last week.
“We are constantly looking for more sustainable techniques, systems and products,” says Kris Bachtell, Arboretum Director of Collections and Facilities. “This FilterPave porous pavement may be the way of the future.”