There is a need for us all to try to recycle more if we are to try to be kinder to our planet. So companies are looking for more ways to re use materials in alternative ways. Rather than just crushing up the materials and then adding them to the ever growing piles of waste recycled materials waiting to be reused.
A great way that glass bottles of any size can be used again or recycled without the need first to be broken and crushed is in the construction of a concrete floor. The glass bottles are strong enough to withstand concrete being placed around them.
The reused glass bottles create an air pocket in the concrete which helps keep the concrete floor insulated against the underlying cold sub base and is surprisingly strong in structure. It also cuts down on the amount of concrete you need to use.
Now this method is a very old method which I have come across only twice in my time, once in the construction of an old pig farm floor when it had to be removed to make way for the construction of a new block paved driveway and the second was the concrete base of a garage at an old Victorian house that was being dug up as I walked past. The concrete in the skip was constructed this way, about 12 inches thick. You don’t hear of many of today’s contractors using these methods, but it does exist. If it was not for modern materials, this method may have still been used today.
The idea is that when you are laying the concrete on the floor you first lay a layer of concrete, maybe 2 or 3 inches thick. You then lay down a layer of glass bottles on their sides, on to the concrete mix, pushing the bottles into the concrete slightly. Making sure that the bottles don’t touch each other and there is a minimum gap of 2 inches between each bottle. You then add a second layer of concrete making sure that you tamp down the concrete between the bottles and add a couple of inches on top of the old bottles. Then add another layer of bottles, slightly staggered but laid as described above.
Continue this method until you have reached the desired height of the flooring. The layers of concrete and amount of glass needed will be based on the size of the bottles and the depth of the concrete. Always finish with a layer of concrete at least 2 inches thick for a maximum strength. Allow the floor to set hard before walking on the surface