Paving the way for a more sustainable future in Tasmania

A demonstration project aimed at increasing the use of recycled crumb rubber on local roads across Tasmania is helping pave the way to a more sustainable future.

More than 1240 end-of-life truck tyres will be diverted from landfill and mixed with the equivalent of 40,000 recycled glass bottles to produce crumb rubber asphalt in the ground-breaking project – a first for Tasmania – in a partnership between local road specialist Fulton Hogan and Tyre Stewardship Australia.

Meander Valley, in the state’s north, is the first municipality to resurface some of its road network, with work recently commencing in Prospect Vale.

Fulton Hogan’s Infrastructure Services Tasmanian Manager, Sam Allan, said the municipal roads built using the crumb rubber asphalt would be significantly more durable, longer lasting, quieter and safer than roads paved with conventional asphalt.

“Crumb rubber modified bitumen used as a binder for asphalt mixes for community roads is a tangible contribution to the environment through recycling used tyres, and a lower life-cycle cost of the resulting road pavement,” Sam explained.

“It’s about taking a waste stream – in this instance, used tyres – through to an environmentally beneficial product to build infrastructure of critical value.”

Six councils across Tasmania are taking part in the demonstration project: Meander Valley, Central Highlands, Dorset, George Town, Sorell and Tasman.

Tyre Stewardship Australia has provided more than $85,000 across the lifespan of the project to support additional costs relative to the installation of a conventional road. Fulton Hogan will cover the cost of the transportation and supply of a portable blending facility, providing councils across Tasmania the opportunity to utilise crumb rubber technology in both spray-seal and asphalt applications.

Currently in Tasmania there is no manufacturing facility to blend crumb rubber binders or process tyres.

“The project will create an opportunity to help guide Council specifications to include crumb rubber binder and build an ongoing market for the product in Tasmania,” said Sam.

“During this trial, Fulton Hogan plans to gain more intricate knowledge of market demand which may lead to a more permanent operation for Tasmania in producing crumb rubber binder.”

CEO of Tyre Stewardship Australia, Linda Goodman, added that “this Tasmanian-first initiative is such an exciting one for Tyre Stewardship Australia to be involved with, because of the future possibilities it offers.

“With 85% of roads managed by local councils and significantly more low traffic roads found nationally, local government procurement power is critical to using resources like crumb rubber, created from the millions of used tyres generated in Australia each year, to create a better performing, longer lasting Australian road network created from the millions of used tyres generated in Australia each year, to create a better performing, longer lasting Australian road network.”

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