Melbourne road to be built with recycled plastic waste


A new project is taking soft plastics and glass diverted from landfills to construct a Melbourne road in an Australian-first trial

The 300-metre stretch of road will be made from 200,000 plastic bags, packaging, and 63,000 glass bottle equivalents, The Urban Developer reports.

Hume City Council and Infrastructure Company Downer have partnered with resource recovery and recycling companies Close the Loop and RED Group for the recycled-plastic-road trial.

Downer’s Executive General Manager, Dante Cremasco, says the partnership showed the value that can be created in repurposing waste materials into new streams of use.

“This sustainable, cost competitive road has a 65% improvement in fatigue life and a superior resistance to deformation making the road last longer, and allowing it to better handle heavy vehicle traffic,” Cremasco explains.

Toner from more than 4500 used printer cartridges and 50 tonnes of recycled asphalt were also repurposed to create 250 tonnes of asphalt that will be used to construct the road around Rayfield Avenue, Craigieburn.

The trial follows a push to reuse more rubbish locally and comes after China has reduced the amount of recyclable material it sources from Australian recycling companies.

Hume Mayor Geoff Porter says the council is eager to monitor the trial of how this recycled asphalt and new road surface performs over time.

“Sustainability is a key priority for our council and community,” Porter says.

Downer and Close the Loop have previously collaborated on developing a new type of asphalt called TonerPave, which is made largely from Modified Toner Polymer.

It has been used in road construction around Sydney and Melbourne.

In Europe, construction company VolkerWessels has manufactured pre-made road sections made from recycled plastic bottles.

The sections are lightweight and easily installed, with the roads being built to last up to three times longer than standard asphalt