Recycled rubber asphalt project aims to improve sustainability of local roads


Friday, 30 June, 2023

Recycled rubber asphalt project aims to improve sustainability of local roads

Boral will be involved in a crumb rubber asphalt demonstration project, providing 2000 tonnes of the sustainable pavement material and 1200 tonnes of controlled asphalt mix to be paved across streets from eight Sydney councils. Comprising recycled rubber from end-of-life car and truck tyres, crumb rubber asphalt aims to improve the sustainability and longevity of council roads.

The Reusing Rubber: Recycling Tyres for Roads demonstration project by Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) aims to make council roads more sustainable, reduce capital and operating expenditure by extending road life and create a local market for old car and truck tyres by incorporating crumb rubber in bitumen. An additional 3600 standard passenger car tyres or 2400 car and 490 truck tyres combined will be used in the crumb rubber asphalt trial project.

Boral is partnering with eight of the 12 involved local councils in Sydney to pave a street in each area and explore varying levels of crumb rubber in a range of asphalt mixes. These include Bayside Council, Burwood Council, City of Sydney Council, Woollahra Council, Randwick City Council, Sutherland Shire Council, Northern Beaches Council and Inner West Council.

The first pavement will be laid in early June, with remaining works across the councils to be completed in coming weeks.

Tim Richards, Executive General Manager, Asphalt at Boral, said the project will drive benefits for the broader industry and governments of all levels.

Boral is committed to decarbonisation and uses its facilities to process recyclable materials such as construction waste.

“We are eager to find ways to maximise benefits to the community and on road projects through innovative construction materials and methods. We look forward to partnering with more local governments on projects such as these,” Richards said.

The performance of each asphalt mix will be monitored in range of applications and conditions to measure product benefits over an initial 12-month period. The project will generate data on the use of recycled rubber-based treatments on local roads and is expected to contribute to the development of crumb rubber asphalt specifications in future projects.

Crumb rubber asphalt sees recycled rubber used as a binder in the construction of asphalt pavements. The sustainable end product is more durable and resilient than standard asphalt, with the rubber improving the standard properties of the bitumen component. Research suggests crumb rubber asphalt can double the life of a road.

Image credit: iStock.com/cnikola

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