London – Tower Hamlets has become the first borough in London to get a ‘recycled road’ made partly from scrap tires that would once have been destined for a landfill site, the project partners have announced.
The borough council has been working with Tarmac, which has supplied new technology that uses rubber crumb from the 40 million waste tires produced every year mixed into asphalt, said a 5 Feb statement.
The project was launched on Canrobert Street in Bethnal Green where approximately 100 recycled tires were mixed into a new road surface laid by council contractors JB Riney.
“It’s great to see innovative solutions to repurposing waste that could otherwise go to landfill or incineration,” said John Biggs, mayor of Tower Hamlets, in the press release.
“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,” he added. “This product will provide a safe surface with less emissions and disruption during the laying process.”
The introduction in Bethnal Green follows a trial on the M1 motorway, Tarmac noting that as the surface is laid at lower temperatures roads can be re-opened quicker with up to 10% less CO2 emissions and improved site safety.
“Used tires remain a significant and overlooked waste stream and our new, innovative rubber modified asphalts offer a more sustainable option for local roads,” said Brian Kent, national technical director at Tarmac.
Tower Hamlets, stated Briggs, is “taking the lead in the capital and delivering environmental savings by leveraging this new technology and unlocking the benefits of a circular economic approach.”
Tower Hamlets council is working towards becoming a carbon neutral organisation by 2025 and estimates that carbon emissions will fall by 60% this year helped by schemes to make walking, cycling and access to public transport easier and safer for all.