Rubber Hits the Road with Federal Environment Minister Congratulating TSA
September 2016, Mornington, Victoria
Federal Environment Minister, The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, was on hand to literally see the ‘rubber hit the road’ in his home electorate of Flinders, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, as part of the launch of a national cooperative research project targeting greater use of rubberised road products, including asphalt and spray seal.
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 51 million end-of-life tyres each year.
Now, as part of the allocation of over $1.5 million in research and development funds, Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) is partnering with the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB), Sustainability Victoria, VicRoads, and the Queensland Departments of Transport & Main Roads and Environment & Heritage Protection, to research particular market barriers and to find ways to increased use of tyre-derived products in the construction and maintenance of Australian Roads.
Rubberised asphalt has been in use for many years around the world including in the USA, principally in Arizona, California, Florida, Texas and South Carolina. Current USA use of rubberised asphalt, even in the limited number of states highlighted, consumes over 12 million end-of life tyres per year and rubberised road asphalt and spray seal have delivered superior performance in terms of noise, drainage and durability.
Although rubberised asphalt and spray seal have both been in use in Australia for some time, the scope to increase use nationally offers a major opportunity to utilise recycled rubber.
TSA is in a unique position, as an Australia wide agency, to help harness the collective efforts of state government and associated road agencies in a collaborative framework that can deliver both road infrastructure and environmental benefits.
By co-funding the two projects, with Sustainability Victoria and the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, TSA is playing vital role in assisting the development of an Australia wide market for tyre derived products.
According to Minister Hunt: “With Australia generating more than51 million end-of-life tyres per year the potential to turn an environmental challenge into an opportunity to improve roads is dramatic."
“Turning waste into new industries and jobs is exactly why the Federal Government supported the formation of Tyre Stewardship Australia. With the cooperative participation of the majority of tyre industry stakeholders, the organisation has made very impressive progress since I had the pleasure to launch it just over two years ago."
“To actually see the end use of recycled tyres on improved road surfaces, here in my own electorate, is particularly gratifying. I’m sure the research being conducted into ways to maximise the use of such recycled material will result in many more road applications across the nation. TSA and all the partners are to be congratulated on their ongoing efforts to deliver the sustainable and value-generating management of our end-of-life tyres.”
The Federal Minister’s enthusiasm for the projects was also reflected by Sustainability Victoria CEO Stan Krpan’s comment: “Creating new markets for recovered materials, including tyres, is a key priority for Victoria, and aligns with our Market Development Strategy of facilitating growth and investment in waste management and resource efficiency.”
“Victoria’s collaboration with TSA and other jurisdictions will ensure that we manage end-of-life tyres efficiently, reduce waste to landfill, and encourage economic and technological innovation in re-manufacturing.”
Tyre Stewardship Australia CEO, Matt Genever, thanked the partners in the research projects and indicated that the initial round of research funding was just the beginning of the market development actions that TSA has underway.
“Working with the ARRB, Sustainability Victoria and the Queensland Government on identifying solutions to barriers to the use of rubberised road solutions works to meet the market development aspect of our charter. There will be further research projects, both solely TSA funded and in partnership, covering other end uses in the near future and we will be announcing future funding rounds in due course."
“For the TSA members and accredited entities, today’s event is a highly visible demonstration of both the support TSA enjoys and the progress we are making.”