1 January 2017
With Australia generating more than 56 million end-of-life tyres per year, there is huge potential to turn an environmental challenge into an opportunity to improve Australia’s roads.
Although rubberised asphalt and spray seal have both been in use in Australia since the 1970’s, the scope to increase the volume used within asphaltic products nationally offers a major opportunity to utilise recycled rubber more extensively in high value applications.
Rubberised road products not only provide quieter, more durable roads, but will also play a central role in helping to solve the challenge of dealing with over 56 million end-of-life tyres each year.
Rubberised asphalt has been in use for many years around the world including in the USA, principally in Arizona & California, where rubberised road asphalt have delivered superior performance in terms of noise, drainage and durability under harsh climactic conditions.
TSA is in a unique position, as a national agency, to help harness the collective efforts of state governments and associated road agencies in a collaborative framework that can deliver both road infrastructure and environmental benefits.
By co-funding projects, TSA is playing vital role in assisting the development of a national market for tyre derived products. As part of the allocation of over $2 million in research and development funds, Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) has partnered with Sustainability Victoria and Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP, QLD) on the removal of market barriers to increase the use of tyre derived products in the repair and maintenance of Australian Roads. This research was delivered via agencies including Queensland Transport and Main Roads (TMR), VicRoads, Main Roads WA, Australian Road Research Board (ARRB), Australian Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA), and various other roads organisations.
Already, Victoria’s roads body, VicRoads, has increased the proportion of rubber crumb used in high stress road surface spray seals used on Victorian roads from 5% to 10 and up to 18% crumb rubber for other types of sprayed seals. These increases offer significant potential to improve the utilisation of end-of-life tyre-derived material.