American Green Engineering

Next time someone asks you to invest in an American “green tech” company, carefully review the Wikipedia page for the Norwottuck Rail Trail here in Massachusetts:

The trail has degraded over time. One aspect of the problem is that the original pavement was an attempt at being “green”, and incorporated crushed used glass bottles as part of its aggregate. This material has been slowly emerging over time, causing flat tires and other issues.

It will cost the taxpayers $4 million to fix…


  1. Owen

    July 7, 2014 @ 7:08 am


    From reading the article it looks as though the main problem is almost two decades of no maintenance rather than the glass.

  2. Izzie L.

    July 7, 2014 @ 9:07 am


    It sounds like the trail was due for a repaving anyway. Glass was used in the past in many places but this trail seems to be the only place where it has caused problems – possibly they didn’t use the right method for grinding it up. Nowadays glass is too valuable to use as a substitute for gravel, but if it was, it could be used in the base coat and kept out of the top coat.

    “Green” is like anything else – you can do it the right way or the wrong way, the dumb way or the smart way. Being green doesn’t automatically make anything good, but it doesn’t necessarily make it bad either.

Log in