Earthmoving News, Environment & Research, Road Building

Recycled materials used in Melbourne council’s roads

A local council in Melbourne’s outer south-west is participating in a project that will see recycled plastic used in road construction

Wyndham City council has announced its participation in a collaborative project that aims to incorporate recycled plastic from consumer and industrial waste into road construction.

Partnering with RMIT University, Austroads, the Department of Transport and nine other councils, Wyndham City says soft plastics have been shown to enhance the performance of asphalt.

A total of 170 tonnes of plastic-modified asphalt containing 600kg of recycled plastic will be trialled in a section of road in Cambridge Crescent, Wyndham Vale.

“Our aim for this project is to increase the use of recycled plastics in road construction across our city and to provide reusable guidelines for local councils wishing to increase the sustainability of their roads,” Wyndham City councillor Robert Szatkowski says.

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Along with RMIT and Austroads, Wyndham City council says the project includes Australia’s leading pavement authorities and specialists, including public works and building bodies, recyclers and contractors.

It will be coordinated under the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Transformation of Reclaimed Waste Resources to Engineered Materials and Solutions for a Circular Economy.

RMIT University project lead Filippo Giustozzi says extensive laboratory studies conducted for Austroads show these mixes are mechanically, chemically and environmentally sound.

“The performance of roads can actually be improved with the additions of recycled material, such as plastic and rubber, to be more durable against traffic and resistant against ageing,” he says.

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