Works commenced today on the first Ballarat road to be resurfaced using asphalt containing recycled soft plastics, toner cartridge ink and glass. The new 200 metre section of road along Birdwood Avenue, between Grant and Albion Streets, is scheduled to be upgraded as part of City of Ballarat’s on-going local resurfacing program.
The new road will be laid with Reconophalt, an innovative form of asphalt, which utilises soft plastic (bread bags, food wrappings, plastic bags), ink toner residue, glass and recycled asphalt into a new mix. For this 200 metre stretch of road, approximately 50,000 plastic bag equivalents will be used, 16,000 crushed glass bottles not suitable for remanufacture, and the colours from more than 1,200 toner cartridges.
While the appearance will be no different to traditional forms of asphalt, Reconophalt has enhanced properties of improved strength and resistance to deformation. It lasts longer, is more resistant to extreme heat, and is better at handling heavy vehicles.
The contractor for the resurfacing is Butler Excavations and the supplier of the Reconophalt is Downer.
The City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Ben Taylor, said this is an exciting first for Ballarat and demonstrates Council’s commitment to sustainable alternatives in road construction.
“As a Council we are always looking at ways to be more sustainable in our day to day operations. Using products such as Reconophalt is a great example of how we can shift waste from an issue to an opportunity.”
“The City of Ballarat maintains over 1000km of sealed roads. Using a product like Reconophalt allows us to better maintain our roads in a sustainable way, yet it also improves resource recovery and reduces Council’s environmental footprint.”
“We hope this road resurfacing project on Birdwood Avenue will be the start of using recycled products on more and more of our roads.”
The City of Ballarat has long been advocating to become a national leader in the circular economy, with plans for an improved, value added approach to recycling. The City of Ballarat is planning for a modern resource recovery precinct in the Ballarat West Employment Zone (BWEZ) and its core belief is to foster sustainable market offtakes for the recycling industry to succeed.
The City of Ballarat is investigating mechanisms to support the remanufacture industry, and Birdwood Avenue is example of leveraging from Council procurement to lead by example.