Redland City Council is pioneering a process that turns plastic bottles and other waste into new, high-quality roads.
In a Queensland first, Council is working with leading recycler Alex Fraser and Suncoast Asphalt to resurface a 1km stretch of Princess Street, Cleveland, with Green Roads PolyPave, an innovative, high-performance asphalt product containing reclaimed plastics.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said that, in keeping with Council’s strong focus on sustainability, it was hoped the pilot project would lead to many more roads being built and resurfaced using reclaimed materials.
“Roads are big business for Council, so if we can find a better way to build and maintain them using sustainable materials while removing waste from landfill that would be a major coup,” Cr Williams said.
“This is very much part of Council’s vision for our naturally wonderful Redlands Coast, so we are excited to be at the forefront of greener road building and the environmental benefits that can bring.
“This project will see around 933 tonnes of reclaimed asphalt and about 90,000 hard plastics, such as the milk and shampoo bottles you place in your yellow-lid recycling bins, become part of Princess Street – the equivalent of about nine months of kerbside recycling collected from that street.
“I have been working with the Australian Local Government Association to investigate these sort of innovative solutions for years and I am pleased this work is delivering value for the community.”
Alex Fraser and Suncoast Asphalt general manager Brendan Camilleri said this was a prime example of how circular economy could be achieved with local government, industry and community working together to recycle waste and invest in recycled materials to build new, sustainable infrastructure.
“Redland City Council’s progressive approach to the use of sustainable material is paving the way for Queensland. This is an outstanding example of how local government can harness recycling to build and maintain their cities, and reduce their projects’ carbon footprint by up to 65 per cent,” Mr Camilleri said.
He said Green Roads PolyPave was also a more durable product which lasted longer than regular asphalt, bringing long-term costs benefits.
“When we incorporate recycled plastics into Green Roads PolyPave it becomes part of the DNA of the road, meaning there is no issue with micro-plastics entering the environment.
There is also an enormous carbon saving, with the process producing 43 per cent less CO2 emissions when compared with conventional asphalt,” he said.
“The addition of other recycled ingredients, such as reclaimed asphalt pavement, along with our energy-saving production methods further increases CO2 savings”.
The resurfacing, between Bloomfield and Passage streets, is due to be completed on November 8, weather willing.