City of Parramatta Council in NSW is trialling two innovative sustainable road solutions aimed at reducing waste materials and combatting heat.
In the first of these trials, Chelmsford Avenue in Epping and Honor Street in Ermington were resurfaced with Reconophalt.
Manufactured by Downer, the product contains recycled soft plastics from plastic bags and packaging, waste glass and waste toner from used printer cartridges.
According to City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Bob Dwyer, single-use plastics and other waste materials are a growing problem for the region.
“Finding new ways to recycle and reuse materials means we can reduce the amount of waste that ultimately enters landfill,” he said.
“By taking tonnes of plastic and glass from local recycling plants and using it to create roads, we are able to turn trash into treasured infrastructure.”
Downer Pavements General Manager Stuart Billing said the equivalent of approximately 500,000 plastic bags, 165,000 glass bottles and 12,500 toner cartridges are diverted from landfill for every one kilometre of a two-lane Reconophalt road.
“Together with the City of Parramatta, we are creating new avenues to recycle and repurpose waste materials into new streams of use, and reducing the community’s reliance upon increasingly scarce virgin materials,” he said.
The project is partially funded through the NSW Planning, Industry and Environment Department’s ‘Waste Less, Recycle More’ initiative.
The second trial, which is being conducted in partnership with Blacktown and Campbelltown councils and Western Sydney University, will examine how lighter coloured roads can help reduce the amount of heat absorbed and retained by roads on hot days.
According to SuperSealing CEO Ben Reiter, CoolSeal is a light grey coloured coating, which can be 5-14ºC cooler than regular dark asphalt on a hot day.
“Most cities need some sort of relief from the heat island effect. CoolSeal is a practical way to address this, and it’s great that SuperSealing can partner with Parramatta, Blacktown and Campbelltown councils to use innovation to help improve their communities,” he said.
Researchers from Western Sydney University will collect and analyse data taken from the trial sites, before determining the product’s overall impact in reducing heat.
“As Western Sydney can be several degrees hotter than suburbs in the east, it is crucial we explore ways we can keep our streets cooler – especially in the summer,” Mayor Dwyer said.
“Parramatta is going through an incredible period of growth and transformation, and council is dedicated to building a sustainable and innovative city that will meet the needs of our community well into the future. These road projects are just two examples of how we are achieving this.”