Asphalt that has been made from recycled road tyres has been launched by UK firm Tarmac.
The company believe that they could recycle and reuse up to 750 waste tyres for every kilometre of highway surfaced with the new material, depending on the thickness of the road, which would help to solve the UK’s ‘hidden problem’ of exporting waste tyres.
They estimate that every year we send 120,000 tonnes of rubber tyres abroad.
Tarmac already recycles 8.7 million tonnes of waste from other industries every year, and they say the new product builds on the company’s reuse of waste tyres to power its cement kilns.
Brian Kent, technical director at Tarmac, said: ‘While plastic recycling has attracted media headlines, used tyres remain a significant and overlooked waste stream and our new innovative rubber modified asphalts offer a more sustainable option for our industry and the environment.
‘Rubber is used in asphalt across the USA, but in the UK there is a lack of the necessary industrial infrastructure required to allow manufacture of this type of material.
‘Against the backdrop of major investment in the strategic road network there is now an opportunity to leverage this technology and unlock the benefits of this circular economic approach.’
As part of recent trials of the new material, Tarmac supplied asphalt with rubber in Coventry.
Rob Little, senior engineer, Highways Technical, Coventry City Council, added: ‘Coventry City Council is delighted with the rubberised asphalt trial; we hope we can use more of the product across the city in the future to help divert waste tyres from landfill and incineration to reduce the carbon footprint for road construction projects in Coventry.
‘We are proud to be leading with our partners, Balfour Beatty and Tarmac in providing road surfaces which are providing significant environmental benefits for our communities.’