The Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) is conducting a two-year trial on the application of asphalt made from old tyre crumb rubber.
This asphalt, according to ARRB, has been laid on a busy Melbourne road.
The project is funded by Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) and the Victorian Department of Transport (DoT).
“Australia generates the equivalent of 56 million used car tyres every year," said TSA CEO, Linda Goodman.
"Around 30 per cent of those end up in landfill or are stockpiled.
“Finding innovative and sustainable ways of using old tyres is vital and crumb rubber asphalt roads are the perfect solution to a waste problem," she said.
According to ARRB, spray seals incorporating crumb rubber is proven technology on country roads in Victoria and in many places overseas. The aim of this project is to increase the opportunity to use crumb rubber asphalt on high traffic roads.
The trial is in line with the State Government’s Recycled First policy, which aims to increase the use of recycled materials in construction projects.
“Crumb tyre rubber when added to an asphalt mix, not only assists with the reuse of a waste stream but it actually adds value to the road structure,” said ARRB CEO, Michael Caltabiano.
“ARRB’s applied research findings show that a crumb rubber asphalt lasts longer, performs better and delivers a better economic outcome for the community," he said.
The asphalt has been laid throughout March on a 1.4 km section of East Boundary Road in Bentleigh East, in Melbourne's south-east. It is on the southbound carriageway, between Centre Road and South Road.
The trial consists of four different crumb rubber asphalt mixes and two asphalt control sections. The equivalent of around 1,600 car tyres will be used in the trial.
The trial, according to ARRB, is the first of its kind in Australia based on the scale of the project and number of mixes trialled at the same time.
Lab and field testing will be conducted at regular intervals with a final report due by mid 2022.