Rubber asphalt turns old tyres into roads

Grant Prior 3 months ago
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A new rubberised asphalt which uses recycled waste tyres is being used to surface roads in Coventry by Balfour Beatty.

Manufacturer Tarmac claims it is the first in the UK to develop a new asphalt technology capable of recycling end-of-life tyres (ELTs) into roads.

The asphalt mix uses granulated rubber allowing recycling and reuse of up to 750 waste tyres for every kilometre of highway surfaced with the new material.

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.”

Recent trials of the new material took place 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.”

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