ABSTRACT

Large amounts of shredded high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic bits are generated in Kuwait as a by-product of the production of plastic pipes. To find beneficial uses for this waste material, an extensive laboratory testing program was carried out on two local surface sands of Kuwait amended with shredded HDPE bits in amounts varying from 0 percent to 15 percent (by weight). Laboratory tests included sieve analysis, modified proctor compaction, direct shear, consolidation, and permeability tests. The testing measured the effect of increased HDPE content on the different soil properties. The results indicate a reduction of the maximum density of about 20 percent and a substantial increase in the permeability and compressibility. The strength parameters, namely the cohesion, C, and the angle of internal friction, ϕ, increased with increasing HDPE content. Therefore, the use of HDPE plastic bits as an additive to the local soils in Kuwait is beneficial for many practical applications, such as lightweight fill, embankment construction, and as a drainage layer in the construction of landfills.

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