Montreal is building bridges using recycled wine bottles

The city of Montreal in Canada is going to have two bridges made out of recycled glass bottles by 2021. The City of Montreal, together with the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ), announces a new project that will use around 70,000 glass bottles to create two Darwin Bridges on Nuns’ Island, Montreal.

The Darwin Bridges may look like any other, but it may be the world’s first to incorporate recycled glass into its construction materials. It’s an incredible way to increase the performance of concrete while recovering material that too often ends up in landfills.

The construction of two concrete bridges will contain 10% finely ground recovered glass. In addition to giving second life some 70,000 bottles of wine, it will also save 40,000 kg of cement. The use of glass powder as a replacement for cement in concrete increases the durability and strength of concrete, in addition to reducing its environmental footprint.

By replacing 10% of the cement with glass powder for this project, it will also help reduce the CO2 emission by 40 tonnes. The project engineers are confident the concrete in the bridge will outperform the regular variety and that there are environmental benefits as well.

The idea for this kind of structure began in 2017 when Étienne Cantin Bellemare, lead designer and engineer of the project, was researching ‘Novel Ultra-High Performing Glass Concrete.’ Three years later, this research is being practically applied to a bridge. One of the bridges will be ready in the coming weeks, while the second one will begin construction next year and will take around six months to complete.

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