Garbage Recycling: Can We Use Waste Plastic To Build Better Roads?
In recent blogs – we have covered the developing waste and recycling crisis in Australia as China is no longer prepared to process the garbage recycling that we send to them each year.
The clampdown by China on low quality recycling products – means that Australia (and many other countries) need to find a sustainable processing system and output for the garbage recycling collected.
Waster helps small Aussie businesses boost their recycling, save costs and not worry about bin collections. See our blog on upcycling.
All our services are delivered on flexible 30 day agreements – so you never need to worry about roll over clauses or lock in contracts again.
We do not charge hidden extras – and make garbage collection super easy. You can book all your waste collection and recycling needs as well as services such as sanitary bins online today:
Fundamentally – if we can not send garbage recycling to China – we need to select one of the options as below:
– Send all waste that can not be processed to landfill.
– Incinerate the waste to produce energy such as in Sweden
– Invest in new recycling facilities so we do not need to send the product overseas.
Of the options above – the third option, to recycle rubbish in Australia is probably the most palatable from an environmental standpoint.
The problem with this option – is that we need a real manufacturing base that can actually use the recycled product. Otherwise – it will be stockpiled, sent to landfill after all – or sold overseas. However, there is limited demand for further recycling to be shipped overseas.
In today’s blog – we will look at the possibility of using recycled plastic to build better roads.
Can we build better roads from garbage recycling collected?
We recently covered how bacteria could make plastic waste disappear – but maybe waste plastic could be very valuable after all.
Recently the Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR) suggested that Australia puts $150m into building sustainable solutions for the crisis.
Quoting the ABC:
“Once the material is separated, cleaned and ground up, it would probably be able to be sold to the international market.
But that still means shipping our waste overseas, and relying on those countries’ systems continuing to buy it.
To create demand in Australia, ACOR has called for the Government to invest:
- $20m in preferentially choosing to buy recycled material when it builds roads and other infrastructure
- $8m for research and innovation
- $4m for a scheme to encourage the public to buy recycled products”
One of the most promising large volume solutions for plastic waste would be to use it to help construct new roads.
MacReBur is a company that manufactures plastic pellets for use in road construction:
“What we’re able to do is to take this plastic that has been thrown away, and use a special formula to clean it off, create pellets using it, and then use those pellets to add to a mixture of rocks and bitumen to make longer-lasting roads.”
What are the benefits of these new roads made from garbage recycling?
The reported benefits from these roads are manifold and include:
– reduce plastic waste going to landfill
– 60% tougher than asphalt
– can be modified to suit different environments
– reduces potholes
– holes can be left in the road for wiring etc
– they can be assembled offsite then fitted
– reduces need for fossil fuels – which asphalt uses
– roads can be heated so as to prevent freezing
All in all – it sounds like a great option. See our blog on green waste disposal.
We have also published a blog on the related area of building houses from plastic recycling.
These sort of solutions are vital for us to overcome the garbage recycling crisis. We ask here if they are a good idea – or is it delaying the problem.
Waster is very confident that we can overcome these problems – if we work together and do not hide from the magnitude of the problem.
It is also possible to use recycled glass in the construction of these roads.
You can also use recycled tyres to make rubber bricks.
You can see a video below from the BBC extolling the benefits of plastic roads – and even asking can they save the planet?: