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Council trials asphalt using recycled plastic bags, toner, glass

Manufacturing News

Lake Macquarie City Council has announced a trial road resurfacing using Reconophalt, manufactured at Downer’s Teralba plant.

Engineering firm Downer uses recycled products including soft plastics from plastic bags and packaging, glass, printer toner cartridges, crumbed tyre rubber and reclaimed asphalt in Reconophalt.

The council said the chip packaging and plastic bags provided a glue that bonded and waterproofed the road, which it estimates will repurpose the equivalent of 586,000 plastic bags, 184,000 glass bottles, toner from 13,200 printer cartridges and 220 tonnes of reclaimed asphalt.

Council’s circular economy lead, Debbie O’Byrne, said, “We have a wonderful opportunity here in the Hunter to lead the way in Australia, especially with our local expertise and skills in manufacturing that lend themselves to circular economy industries.” 

The Teralba asphalt plant was reopened in 2019 by Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser. Fraser said the new road trial represented, “a practical and sustainable solution for many products that would otherwise go to landfill.”

Reconophalt has won several awards, and according to Downer is both cost-competitive with regular asphalt, while offering “up to 65% improvement in fatigue life and superior deformation resistance.”

Picture: Lake Macquarie Council

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