Next time you’re driving around metropolitan Melbourne you might be doing so on top of old car bumper bars. The Melbourne city council has announced that four of Melbourne’s busiest streets will be paved with recycled plastic in an effort to reduce landfill and create demand for recycled materials.
The streets in question are Anderson Street and Alexandra Avenue in South Yarra, and Flinders Street and Spring Street in the Melbourne CBD. The material being used to resurface the roads consists of 50 per cent recycled hard plastics (like old car bumper bars) plus recycled asphalt products and slag aggregates. The additional 50 per cent of the paving is made from virgin materials.
Flinders Street and sections of Anderson Street have already been paved with the recycled materials, with the works on Alexandra Avenue to be completed by Sunday, November 24. Spring Street will be repaved with the recycled plastics next year.
The four roads are part of a trial between Melbourne city council, Citywide and Citywide North Melbourne Asphalt Plant to see whether recycled materials can be used more widely in roads. If it's successful, soft plastics like those found in single-use bottles could also be used to pave roads.
Deputy lord mayor Arron Wood said: “By using recycled plastic and other recycled materials on our roads we’re creating more sustainable infrastructure and showing there are local markets for recycled materials.”
An estimated 11,000 tonnes of recycling is collected from Melbourne city council residents every year. Statewide, Victoria has struggled to find a solution to its recyclable waste with several councils forced to send recyclable materials to landfill in the past 12 months.