Plastic and glass from a landfill site have been used to create a road in the south-east Australian state of Victoria.
Soft plastics from 200,000 plastic bags and packaging, 63,000 glass bottles, toner from more than 4,500 used printer cartridges and 50 tonnes of recycled asphalt were used to construct a road in the Melbourne suburb of Craigieburn. Australian engineer Downer and Hume City Council partnered with recycling companies Close the Loop and RED Group on the project. Geoff Porter, Hume mayor, said: “We look forward to monitoring the trial of this recycled asphalt and how the new surface performs over time. “This is just one way we are working in partnership to respond to recycling industry concerns and highlights the importance of residents and businesses recycling materials, particularly soft plastics and glass, properly.”
Elizabeth Kasell, RED Group director, said: “The project demonstrates a great step toward a circular system, where soft plastic packaging recovered through the REDcycle Program, and other materials previously destined for landfill, can be used as a resource for Australian roads.”
The Victorian Government has introduced a US$1.88m research and development fund to finance new methods of recycling.
Downer has been awarded $50,430 from the grant, with Close the Loop receiving $30,110. Applications for the Resource Recovery Market Development Fund will open in July.
The asphalt road trial is the first of its kind in Australia, with Downer estimating that up to 15% of asphalt could contain soft plastics and that up to 10 million tonnes of recyclable waste could be diverted from landfill every year. However, it is unknown if similar or larger scale projects will be built using this technique.