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Local Road Built Almost Entirely with Recycled Products

Source: Central Coast Council
Posted: 3 Jul 2020
Central Coast Council has demonstrated that a road project - including road base, road surface, kerb and guttering, footpaths and drainage - can be built with over 90 percent recycled material.

Significant environmental benefits have been achieved on what looks like a typical road upgrade in Wyongah - with the majority of materials sourced from recycled household and construction products.

Council Director Roads Transport Drainage and Waste, Boris Bolgoff said the project recycled over five million glass bottles, 270 kilograms of plastic and thousands of tonnes of used concrete and road gravel.

"This project represents a milestone in Council's commitment to sustainably develop and maintain the Central Coast's 2,200 kilometre road network," Mr Bolgoff said.

"We started from the bottom and worked our way up - instead of virgin sand we used recycled glass for trench backfills and the sub-base of the road, and the road base itself is made from recycled crushed concrete and the existing road pavement.

"For kerb and guttering and the footpath we used a 'Green concrete' made from fly ash (a by-product of coal fired powered stations) and recycled glass sand, with the reinforcing made out of recycled plastic, saving the equivalent of 50,000 plastic bags.

"We also used the latest construction techniques to save over six thousand kilograms of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere - that's the equivalent of a 25,000 kilometre car trip.

"Our goal was to build a road project predominantly out of recycled material without compromising on quality or costing any more than a standard road project and we are thrilled to have achieved that objective."

The materials used, and technology developed for this project, will be rolled out across Council's road construction program to generate significant environmental savings on a yearly basis.

Mayor Lisa Matthews said Council is combining its commitment to sustainable practices and methods and delivering for the Coast's large road network.

"To complete every element of a road project with over 90 percent recycled materials is an incredible achievement and a reflection of Council's commitment to sustainability and innovation," Mayor Matthews said.

"This project demonstrates that we can deliver projects with a significantly reduced impact on our environment without impacting the cost or the time it takes to get the job done."

Further innovative products and techniques recently used by Council to deliver for the region's road network include:

  • Australian-first 'road train' technology to lay foamed bitumen in a way that reduces construction time, increases use of recycled road pavement, reduces greenhouse emissions and delivers a more consistent road surface.
  • Use of 'Reconophalt' road surfacing product made from plastic bags, glass bottles, used printer cartridges and reclaimed road asphalt.
  • Sourcing of waste from local primary schools - chip packets, muesli bar wrappers, sandwich bags - for recycling into Reconophalt.
 
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