Construction News

Sun July 05 2020

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London gets its first tyres-to-tarmac road

6 Feb London’s first stretch of road made partly from old tyres has been laid in Bethnal Green

From left to right are Riney contracts director Michael McLoughlin, Tarmac product manager Roger Eke, Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs and council highways Stephen Warway
From left to right are Riney contracts director Michael McLoughlin, Tarmac product manager Roger Eke, Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs and council highways Stephen Warway

Civils contractors JB Riney, working for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, has resurfaced Canrobert Street in Bethnal Green using rubber modified asphalt.

The rubber came from waste tyres that would once have been destined for a landfill site. The material was supplied by Tarmac, which mixes rubber crumb into asphalt. 

The introduction in Bethnal Green follows a trial on the M1 motorway. The surface is laid at a lower temperature which, Tarmac says, means roads can be re-opened more quickly with up to 10% less carbon dioxide emissions, reduced fumes and less risk of burns to workers.

The rubber crumb material
The rubber crumb material

Brian Kent, national technical director at Tarmac, said: “Used tyres remain a significant and overlooked waste stream and our new, innovative rubber modified asphalts offer a more sustainable option for local roads. 

“It’s fantastic to see the London Borough of Tower Hamlets taking the lead in the capital and delivering environmental savings by leveraging this new technology and unlocking the benefits of a circular economic approach.”

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Tower Hamlets Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and has committed to working towards becoming a carbon neutral organisation by 2025.

Mayor John Biggs said: “It’s great to see innovative solutions to repurposing waste that could otherwise go to landfill or incineration. We were one of the first councils to declare a climate emergency and we’re keen to explore all ideas that can reduce our impact on the environment. This product will provide a safe surface with less emissions and disruption during the laying process. We want residents and businesses to think about how they can reduce their carbon footprint so it’s important we do our bit too.”

Further reading:

Turning tyres into tarmac

When the rubber hits the road

and New life for old tyres in Scottish asphalt trial

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MPU
MPU

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