Abstract The great quantity of waste glasses leads to the need for new applications. The realization of matrices for innovative and cost-effective materials is one possible use. In the present work, lead silicate glasses, recovered from cathode ray tubes (CRTs) are investigated. A low cost powder processing route is proposed for the manufacture of particulate aluminium reinforced glass matrix composites. These composites exhibit an anomalous mechanical behaviour which is thought to be due to a complex metal/glass interaction. In the case of limited metal/glass interaction, good bending strength and fracture toughness are achieved. The obtained K IC level of about 1.20 MPa m 0,5, together with the observed crack control behaviour, appears promising.