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Paving the Streets with Recyclables

Source: Northern Beaches Council
Posted: 31 Oct 2019
Northern Beaches Council will trial using asphalt containing plastics and other recycled materials on a select number of roads throughout the region.

Mayor Michael Regan said reducing the heat in traditional black asphalt roads could help the environment by potentially reducing the ambient temperature in areas adjoining the roads.

This reduces the ‘heat island effect’ where city areas are hotter than surrounding country areas.

Heat islands result in increased peak energy demand and higher consequent greenhouse emissions, high air conditioning costs and increased heat-related illness and mortality.

“We are always looking at ways we can improve our environment and there is a lot of science going into this area so I am pleased we are implementing this trial,” Mayor Regan said.

“It’s important to look at how we can reuse plastic waste and maximise diversion from landfill.

The trial involves the use of Plastiphalt, which uses a combination of soft plastics, glass and waste toner from toner cartridges.

“It’s still early days. The first trial using Plastiphalt was completed only about 18 months ago in Victoria. Several councils which have trialled it so far are satisfied with the product. They report the new asphalt looks no different to any new standard asphalt pavement,” Mayor Regan said.

“In this trial, we will be monitoring the cost and performance of using Plastiphalt and any associated issues, such as micro plastics entering the environment, which we will monitor very closely.

“It will take several years to confirm the engineering benefits of this newly developed product, but initial indications are very good.”

Mayor Michael Regan said the program will be funded from Council’s road resurfacing program.

Council has investigated the use of asphalt products that include the use of recycled asphalt, sand, plastic, glass and toner cartridges for road construction to reduce waste sent to land fill and to create a sustainable road construction industry.

 
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