The London borough of Barnet has decided to trial rubberised asphalt when resurfacing its roads.
Barnet Council Uses Recycled Rubber Asphalt
A road in the London borough was recently resurfaced by Tarmac Kier Joint Venture the contractor responsible for highways maintenance and improvements across the borough, using granulated rubber from end-of-life recycled tyres.
Tarmac’s ULTIPAVE R, a rubber-modified stone-mastic asphalt (SMA), uses warm-mix asphalt technology to achieve a reduced carbon footprint, typically 8% lower than the equivalent conventional SMA.
Around 240 tonnes of rubber-modified SMA was laid as part of a new surface course on Hill Top Road by the TKJV’s surfacing team in a single shift. The chosen surface used 35mm of 10mm rubber-modified SMA 40/60 with a polished stone value (PSV) 60 and incorporated steel slag aggregate, with rubber crumb added in place of fibres, and warm-mix binder.
Steel slag aggregate, sourced from Tarmac’s facility at its steel works in Port Talbot, South Wales, was transferred to London by rail to reduce embodied carbon and is classed as zero-CO2 rated.
‘Rubber modified SMAs offer a more sustainable option for local authorities.” Said Peter Hyde, Tarmac Kier JV board member; “It is extremely positive to see Barnet Council delivering environmental savings by leveraging this modern technology and unlocking the benefits of a circular economic approach.’
Councillor Peter Zinkin, vice-chairman of Barnet Council’s environment committee, said: ‘This approach in Barnet helps the council as part of its demanding sustainability strategy, while maximising the reuse of end-of-life tyres which could have been exported as waste.
Depending on the thickness of the road surfacing, Tarmac Kier have calculated that up to 500 waste tyres could be recycled in every kilometre of road resurfaced with the ULTIPAVE R solution, helping to reduce the 120,000 tonnes of rubber waste, including 500,000 tyres, which are exported from the UK annually.
Approved for use on motorways and the strategic road network, the material is a high-performance asphalt using SMA technology suitable for most locations, from heavily trafficked motorways to rural roads. Using high-grade aggregates, it is said to deliver outstanding lasting texture, along with skid resistance and impressive reductions in road noise and surface spray.
The growing use of recycled rubberised asphalt is seen by the tyre recycling sector as one of the key ways ahead for the industry. The ongoing export of rubber waste is unsustainable in the long term and the UK needs to find better routes to utilise its waste tyres than simply exporting vast amounts to Asia.