Balfour Beatty is using rubberised asphalt made from recycled waste tyres for highways surfacing for the first time ever.
The asphalt mix, which was developed by building materials firm Tarmac, uses granulated rubber allowing recycling and reuse of up to 750 waste tyres for every km of highway surfaced with the new material.
Balfour Beatty is using the material to surface roads in Coventry, making it the first contractor to use the mix.
Tarmac technical director Brian Kent said: “While plastic recycling has attracted media headlines, used tyres remain a significant and overlooked waste stream and our new innovative rubber modified asphalts offer a more sustainable option for our industry and the environment.
“Rubber is used in asphalt across the USA, but in the UK there is a lack of the necessary industrial infrastructure required to allow manufacture of this type of material.
“Against the backdrop of major investment in the strategic road network there is now an opportunity to leverage this technology and unlock the benefits of this circular economic approach.”
Tarmac is seeking to use the 40M waste tyres that are produced every year in the UK to produce the mix.
Coventry City Council senior highways engineer Rob Little added: “Coventry City Council is delighted with the rubberised asphalt trial; we hope we can use more of the product across the city in the future to help divert waste tyres from landfill and incineration to reduce the carbon footprint for road construction projects in Coventry.
“We are proud to be leading with our partners, Balfour Beatty and Tarmac in providing road surfaces which are providing significant environmental benefits for our communities.”
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