Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Latrobe trials local recycled mix in resurfacing program


Latrobe City Council has completed its first large scale trial using local recycled products in asphalt for its road resurfacing program.

Historically, this program used 100% virgin materials, however the introduction of Gippsland Asphalt’s new asphalt plant has made this trial possible and enabled more recycled materials to be used locally, Council said in a statement.

Gippsland Asphalt approached Latrobe City Council in 2020 to trial asphalt containing locally sourced recycled glass.

“Use of this material in future projects will increase Council’s commitment to environmental sustainability through the use of recycled products, establishing Latrobe City as a leader in this area within the wider region. In addition, it will encourage council officers and local suppliers, including other asphalt contractors toto consider using recycled materials in their projects,” the Council said.

The recycled glass was supplied by DASMA, the contractor responsible for processing all of Latrobe City Council’s mixed recycling.

The crushing process closes the loop on recycled glass, allowing it to be cycled back into the community and used in infrastructure projects.

Gippsland Asphalt, the lead contractor and DASMA worked closely together to refine the processing and production of the glass mix to obtain the suitable standard for the application. A test section of asphalt was laid at the Gippsland Asphalt facility for testing prior to installation.

“Project officers collaborated with the council’s procurement team to secure an exemption from procurement policy to purchase from Gippsland Asphalt, being the only supplier of asphalt made from locally sourced recycled materials,” the company said in a statement.

It’s the first-time recycled glass has been used in road surfacing in the municipality.

The contractor reported no major difference when laying the asphalt compared to conventional asphalt, noting that there was only a slight difference in how the product compacted during the drum rolling.

The project involved the removal of the surface and 100mm of underlying pavement, replacing that pavement with a structural asphalt containing 10% RAP (sourced from within the municipality) along with a wearing course containing 12.5% recycled glass.

“Trialling recycled glass in asphalt has been a wonderful success. Applying it to a heavy use site in Traralgon has demonstrated just how capable the product is,” said Latrobe Mayor, Kellie O’Callaghan.

“We hope to see this concept used more readily across other projects and would like to thank the Victorian Government for their support in the project.”

The Mayor said the surface will be monitored quarterly for cracking, shoving or defects – none of which have been observed to date. The surface has a sparkle in sunlight, and a pleasant sheen from headlights at night, she said.

The success of the project boosted Council’s confidence to procure recycled materials and they have since completed additional projects using recycled materials.

Upcoming asphalt works will be tendered, with the opportunity for suppliers to present proposals for sustainable products, which will be given strong consideration over the use of virgin materials. Despite these materials sometimes costing more to purchase at this stage, Latrobe City Council recognises the value in investing in sustainable materials and is focused on strengthening its circular economy, Council said in a statement.

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