Recycled waste paves the way

Article image - Recycled waste paves the way Central Coast’s first roads built with plastic bags and recycled glass.

Central Coast Council, New South Wales, has expanded its war on waste to include constructing a road from recycled soft plastic, glass and toner cartridges.

Council Director Roads Transport Drainage and Waste, Boris Bolgoff, said the first Coast roads made using ‘Reconophalt’ are now under construction.

“We are now using a road surfacing product that will help save thousands of tonnes of waste from ending up in landfill.

“To give you an idea of the quantity of waste that can be saved, a 600 metre section of road can be made using 631,000 plastic bags, 117,000 glass bottles, toner from 14,400 used printer cartridges, and 160 tonnes of reclaimed road asphalt.

“The product is added to bitumen and the end result is equal or superior to traditional asphalt with data showing improved strength and resistance to deformation, which makes roads last longer and better handle heavy vehicle traffic.

“We are currently working with Downer to use this innovative product on our roads and to create new avenues for recycling waste materials into new streams of use.

“The other great news is that soft plastic waste generated here on the Coast will increasingly end up as part of local roads – we’ve just sent our first shipment of soft plastic waste for processing and use in Reconophalt.

“Council has partnered with the Plastic Police Program to establish the local collection of soft plastics for recycling into ‘Reconophalt’ and opportunities for the public to drop off their soft plastics for reuse into local roads will be announced soon.”

Mayor Jane Smith said Council’s use of recycled products in road construction demonstrates economic, social and environmental value for the Central Coast.

“We are thrilled to deliver roads projects using products destined for landfill or the stockpile heap.

“This is a major milestone for Council and the Coast and an outstanding example of how infrastructure can be delivered using green and sustainable methods.”

Council also completes spray sealing and asphalt works using a product made from recycled tyres, which recycles some of the 56 million used tyres generated in Australia each year.