Working with aggregate recycling specialist OCL, material generated from road repairs will be processed for re-use in road maintenance.
It is anticipated that up to £320,000 per year could be saved for Hampshire County Council through the reduction in highway construction costs.
Milestone Infrastructure – the former Skanska Highways business acquired by M Group Services in May – is the council’s highway maintenance contractor. It expects the Micheldever facility to deliver a net reduction in the use of virgin aggregates with 12 months, with some warm and hot mix traditional asphalts being replaced with cold lay materials.
Other benefits include a reduction in the total miles travelled for material supply. And the new facility will also recycle tar bound material that would otherwise require specialist and expensive disposal.
The recycled material is laid cold, which means specialist insulated lorries are not needed to collect and deliver the material, and there is no waste from unused material which can be used elsewhere. The cold recycled road surface uses about a fifth of the energy of traditional materials and saves 40% in CO2 emissions.
The site itself has also been recycled, having previously been an asphalt plant up until the late 1990s.
Milestone operations director Matthew Riches said: “The investment in this recycling hub will put Hampshire County Council and its partners at the forefront of sustainable highway construction. We are using materials recovered from the highway as part of our surfacing and road repair programme and binding them with new cements and asphalt to prepare them for re-use in the carriageway. This enables us to use the aggregates from materials that are already in the local road network and eliminates the need to quarry or excavate virgin product from the countryside, all of which has a hugely positive impact on carbon reduction.”
County councillor Rob Humby, deputy leader and executive lead member for economy, transport and the environment, said: “Bringing back in to use material taken up from Hampshire roads during repairs, processing it cleanly and quietly, and then re-using it elsewhere on the local road network is a fantastic step forward for us – both in terms of maintaining the 5,500 miles of roads and footways we’re responsible for across Hampshire and also reducing our carbon footprint which will help us to achieve our climate change goals. I can also foresee the facility’s potential to enable and encourage more sustainable construction techniques across the wider highway maintenance and civil engineering sectors.”