Council closing the loop with recycled road surface

Published on 03 June 2019

Closing the loop with recycled road.jpg

This week, the City of Stonnington will roll out its first sustainable road surface, when a South Yarra street is resurfaced using asphalt containing recycled plastic bags and toner cartridge ink.

The 250 metre Ralston Street, scheduled to be upgraded as part of Council’s on-going local road resurfacing program, has been selected for the trial and will be resurfaced with sustainable recycled asphalt, Reconophalt.

Some 310 tonnes of Reconophalt will be used, containing around 250,000 plastic bags and toner from 20,000 recycled printer cartridges. The soft plastics are from REDcycle, which collects soft plastics from supermarkets and the toner is sourced from Close the Loop, which collects used toner cartridges from drop off points located across Australia as well as corporate and government workplaces and schools.

The resurfacing process, and the appearance and performance of the road will be no different to traditional asphalt.

A second trial, at the May Road car park in Toorak, will happen over the weekend.

City of Stonnington Mayor, Cr Steve Stefanopoulos, said this is an exciting first for Stonnington and demonstrates Council’s commitment to sustainable alternatives to traditional road resurfacing products.

"The City of Stonnington maintains over 325km of roads and collects nearly 13,000 tonnes of recyclables each year," Cr Stefanopoulos said. 

"Using products such as Reconophalt is a fantastic opportunity for us to maintain our streets and roads and demonstrate our commitment to improving resource recovery and reducing Council’s environmental impact.

"It also creates a local market for recyclables, a particularly pleasing outcome given the recent changes to international markets for recyclables," Cr Stefanopoulos added.

Shifting waste from a problem to an opportunity is an important element of Stonnington’s Sustainable Environment Strategy 2018-2023, which includes an objective to ‘close the loop by purchasing materials and services with minimal environmental impact’.

To date, trials of Reconophalt by other Australian councils have been successful with reports the product is performing well.