Durham County Council will use a combination of recycled tyres and plastic waste to create more durable and environmentally friendly road surfaces.
Concrete and cement are responsible for 8% of greenhouse gas emissions globally and with a lot of the cement produced today used for the surfacing of roads, many organisations are looking for alternative materials that are less costly to the environment.
In a bid to reduce their carbon footprint, Durham council has announced that they will be working with the road surfacing contractor, Rainton Construction, to create roads that will be resurfaced with plastic and tyre waste.
A typical single truckload of the surfacing material will include the equivalent of 1,064 plastic bags and 51 car tyres.
Rubber from tyres was previously an un-recyclable material, but Rainton Construction will combine waste from the tyre recycling process, with plastic and tarmac to create a more durable road surface.
According to the council, the combined properties of the rubber and the plastic enhance the performance of the road.
The materials provide a water-resistance surface thatreduces the risk from freeze-thaw which causes potholes and is less likely to crack and distort in hot weather
The new surface is also expected to last longer than traditional materials and when the road surface needs replacing, the materials can be reprocessed and used again.
Managing director of Rainton Constructions, David Elliot said: ‘It is great for us as a business to have a partner like Durham County Council who are as passionate as we are about the re-use of end of life wastes, that would normally be disposed of.
‘We have and will continue to invest in the development of these products in order to maximise our findings and obtain the best value both economically and environmentally.
‘Going forward we will continue to look at new ideas and resources to maximise waste streams within the county boundaries of Durham.’
In related news, researchers at the University of the West of England, Bristol, stated that recycled waste material could play a major role in the construction of roads in Europe bringing both environmental and economic benefits.
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