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Latrobe City joins other councils to collaborate on innovative asphalt recycling project with RMIT University and Austroads

This project addresses Australia's 2.6 million-ton annual plastic waste issue by using recycled materials in road construction, reducing landfill, enhancing roads, and promoting sustainability.

By news@gippsland - 4th September 2023 - Back to News

Latrobe City Council is one of ten Victorian councils taking part in a project that will incorporate recycled plastic into asphalt for new road surfaces. This project is an innovative recycling solution led by RMIT University and supported by Austroads. With Australians generating 2.6 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, this project is helping to address an urgent challenge that affects the region on both a local and national scale.

Research proves durability benefits, striving for national guidelines. 21,000 kg recycled plastic used across 10 sites, with council updates online

Research proves durability benefits, striving for national guidelines. 21,000 kg recycled plastic used across 10 sites, with council updates online

Sustainable road upgrades

Mayor of Latrobe City Council, Councillor Kellie O'Callaghan said using recycled products is an effective and innovative solution for reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill while also upgrading roads. "At council we are taking actions to adapt to a changing climate. This project is a sustainable way to deliver new roads in our municipality and find a productive use for plastic waste."

"We have successfully trialled different recycled materials in road resurfacing before, such as glass and rubber. The results have proved that using these recycled products is a viable way to reduce our environmental impact and deliver quality roads in our region," Cr O'Callaghan said.

Recycled plastic benefits

The team at RMIT undertook a study, funded by Austroads, that found the recycled plastic asphalt mixtures had 150% less cracking and 85% less deformation under pressure testing than conventional asphalt.

This project builds on previous findings that confirmed that recycled plastics can be successfully incorporated in road infrastructure without detrimental effects on the environment, the health and safety of the workers, or the future recyclability of plastic-modified asphalt.

Recycled plastic roadworks

The project aims to develop evidence-based guidance that will provide certainty to road managers about the use of recycled plastics in road surfacing applications and lay the foundations for this solution to be embraced nationally.

The 10 project sites involved in this initiative will use an estimated 21,000 kg of recycled plastic. Residents will be notified if road works are occurring nearby, and updates can be found on council's website and social media pages.

Pictures from Latrobe City Council Facebook page.


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