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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Recycled Glass Path at Trailside Museum in Illinois

By Dan Woznica     OakPark-River Forest Patch

A new 1,000-square-foot pathway at River Forest's Hal Tyrell Trailside Museum will be made almost entirely of crushed recycled glass. Representatives at the Forest Preserve District of Cook County say they intend for the trail to promote eco-friendly landscaping. Installation is underway.

“Here's a good use of material that could end up in a landfill,” Dave Kircher, chief landscape architect for the project, said. “The other side is, the permeable pavement.”

The new trail, composed of a porous material known as FilterPave, filters stormwater, so rain that falls onto the pavement trickles down through a mixture of specially processed glass and into the soil below. Along the way, pollutants in the water get trapped inside the pavement.

Some 90 glass bottles comprise one square foot of the pavement. The bottles can be of any color, but the Trailside path in River Forest itself will be light brown.

Kircher says the pavement's visual appeal is another of its perks: unlike concrete or asphalt, the path's light brown blends into the surrounding forest environment. And unlike woodchips, says Kircher, the trail is handicap-accessible and low-maintenance.

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