Glass Based Soil and Mulch

Why Should Crushed Glass Be Added to Soil and Mulch?

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Improved Temperature Stability

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Collage of glass soil applications


Landscape Architects and Gardners Demand Sustainable Solutions

Sand and aggregate are the most mined materials on earth and are an increasingly scarce resource. Clean glass sand and glass aggregate produced by our pulverizers are strong replacements. Aside from diverting tons of waste glass from landfills, pulverized glass has inherent benefits that transfer to soil health, stability, and plant growth.

Andela’s glass sand and glass aggregate have been on the radar of sustainability advocates in the gardening and landscaping industry for a while due to their many beneficial properties—moisture retention, enhanced drainage, and available silica. More silica availability enhances the development of the resilient roots needed to maintain health in wet, dry, and extreme conditions. Clean glass sand mixed with compost or mulch, creates a better soil structure that doesn’t break down over time and has better filtration rates and moisture retention.

Andela Products Infographic


Why Should I Add Glass Aggregate to Soil?

Using glass sand as an alternative sand for the soil mix is a great way to remove waste from the landfill and promote healthy plant growth. It completes the circle by returning glass, made from sand, back to the earth as a beneficial sand.

How Can Glass Sand Help Plants? If you are working with potted plants, mix the glass sand and soil together, put into the pot, and plant as you would with any other soil mix.  For larger areas, rake or till the soil and mix the glass and directly into the soil.



small potted plants


Case Study 1:
Colgate University Study: Andela Glass Sand as a Soil Amendment for Tomato Plants 

100% SOIL

8.3.23 / 16” AVG.

plant growth with natural soil

8.10.23 / 31.6” AVG.

plant growth with natural soil

9.28.23 / 39.7” AVG. 

plant growth with natural soil

80% SOIL and 20% GLASS SAND

Andela Pulverized Glass Sand: Medium to Fine mix (5mm - .1mm in size)

8.3.23 / 13.3” AVG. 

plant growth with glass soil

8.10.23 / 36.3” AVG. 

plant growth with glass soil

9.28.23 / 50.6” AVG.

plant growth with glass soil

Case Study 2:
University of Pennsylvania Department of Earth and Environmental Science & OLIN Labs

University of Pennsylvania Department of Earth and Environmental Science in conjunction with OLIN Labs performed the first-ever life cycle analysis (LCA) on sustainable soil made with Andela glass-sand from recycled waste glass. 

Results indicated that plants performed as well in glass-sand based soil as in natural sand based soil. The addition of glass sand to mulches or soils improves both mechanical properties, and chemical or nutritional properties.

Among other positives, the results revealed that compared with conventional sand, glass-sand produced from waste-glass reduced by 67% greenhouse gas (GHGs) emission with a saving of 48% water usage.

Collage of machinery moving glass based soil, soil in containers and workers planting using glass based soil

Some of the benefits identified include:

  • Leachate analysis met safety standards
  • Glass-sand retains water longer than natural sand, use suggestion 33-50% glass-sand
  • Glass-sand pH has a neutral effect in the soil mix because glass-sand pH is a relatively static characteristic
  • Lab and greenhouse tests show no significant differences in biomass between glass-sand-based and natural sand based mixes
  • Economic analysis showed benefits of diverting glass from municipal single-stream recycling
  • Better water flow of glass-sand mulch mixes

The Future of Sand is Glass Aggregate. Get In On The Action.

Why should I invest in a glass crushing machine?

  • The demand and popularity for crushed glass is rising
  • These machines are easy to use
  • The versatility of the end-uses makes them a worthwhile investment
  • Improved root/plant growth

Where Can I Begin?

Andela’s innovative glass recycling systems create end-use products that can promote plant growth and protect crops from pests and abiotic stresses. We will help you find the perfect system for your specific needs.

Northwest Resiliency Park Design

Circular Soil and Northwest Resiliency Park

Andela Products is pleased to have clean glass sand (created by our glass pulverizer system) utilized by the creators of the Northwest Resiliency Park in…

Diagram of recycling system with Philadelphia skyline

Landscape Architects, A Circular Solution

Andela Products’ glass sand is assisting landscape architecture firm OLIN Labs, Philadelphia, with their GSI/GBS initiative — “Soilless Soil”! To develop a glass-based soil (GBS) that…

Frequently Asked Questions

Crushed Glass and Glass Aggregate Serve A Variety of Other Applications in Construction, Gardening, Community Projects and More.

Wondering about the other uses for glass sand aggregate?

Glass sand aggregate has many uses for individuals and businesses. With no sharp edges, it is easily handled and appropriate for even the most delicate applications such as play sand for children. Glass aggregate can be produced in different sizes and gradations as needed.

• Coastal Restoration
• Mulch
• Glass Based Soil
• Hydroponics
• Play Sand
• Glass and Plastic Pavers
• Rain Gardens
• Pipe Bedding
• Polished Concrete
• Formed Polymer Concrete
• Pavement Concrete Blocks

• Coastal Restoration
• Mulch
• Glass Based Soil
• Hydroponics
• Play Sand
• Glass and Plastic Pavers• Rain Gardens
• Pipe Bedding
• Polished Concrete
• Formed Polymer Concrete
• Pavement Concrete Blocks