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Byron Shire
April 20, 2021

Inroads to reducing landfill

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Acting Mayor Donna Gates with a jar of plastic and glass road. Photo supplied.

Most people care about the environment and it’s always a conundrum trying to work out what to do with everyday items that you don’t want to end up in landfill.

Recycled materials like glass, rubber tyres and plastic car bumpers are being transformed into roads and reducing the amount of new materials required for road construction.

In a City of Gold Coast first trial, a new 410 metre section of KP McGrath Drive in Elanora includes 3.5 tonnes of recycled plastic, 200 tonnes of crushed glass and 300 tonnes of recycled asphalt pavement.

The new road trial. Photo supplied.

Acting Mayor Donna Gates said combining the plastic and glass in this project had reduced the total volume of new materials (sand and asphalt) by 25 per cent.

‘In partnership with Fulton Hogan we’re trialling this site, which uses recycled glass in the lower layer and recycled plastic car bumpers in the upper layer, she said.

‘Glass not suitable for reuse in new glass products is usually sent to landfill as waste. The glass in this reconstructed road is now being put to use for a second time.

‘The trial mixes were designed for application at lower temperatures which also reduces the volume of greenhouse gas emissions.’

Acting Mayor Gates said a number of trial sites had already been completed on the City’s road network using crumbed rubber (recycled tyres) asphalt technology, which helps to reduce the bitumen content of asphalt by 20 per cent.

Fulton Hogan’s Pavement Engineering Manager, Dr Laszlo Petho, said the crumbed rubber technology was part of the company’s ongoing drive to use sustainable practices in the manufacture of road and industrial pavement solutions.

‘To date 27.5 tonnes of crumbed rubber from used tyres has been used, saving landfill sites from the dumping of the equivalent of around 4600 passenger car tyres,’ said Dr Petho.

‘An additional bonus is that the rubber and carbon black from the tyres enhances the engineering properties of the asphalt.’

The crumbed rubber road sites include Nielsen’s Rd, Carrara, Pimpama Jacobs Well Road, Pimpama and Nineteenth Ave at Palm Beach.

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  1. I hate to rain on this parade but if we put recycled plastics in to road surfaces are small amounts of plastic material going to finish up in the marine environment? It seems like a good idea but are we going to have problems furthur on? Some scientific investigation may be in order.


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