The City of Melbourne resurfaces five city streets with recycled plastics

The City of Melbourne is using plastic previously destined for landfill – such as car bumper bars – to resurface five iconic city streets.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said five prominent Melbourne streets would be paved with asphalt made from recycled plastics.

“The paving on these historically significant streets will look exactly the same as any other street. The difference is that using plastic in the asphalt creates demand for recycled products,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We collect 11 000 tonnes of residential recycling each year. Using a mix of plastic to resurface our streets is one way we can support the circular economy and reduce landfill.”

The first road within the City of Melbourne to be re-surfaced using recycled plastic was Flinders Street, with works occurring between Exhibition Street and Spring Street last month.

Sections of Anderson Street in South Yarra have also been resurfaced, with further works on Alexandra Avenue in South Yarra completed Sunday, 17 November.

Further works will be completed on sections of Spring Street next year between Little Collins Street and Little Bourke Street and Flinders Street and Collins Street.

Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood said the paving consists of 50 per cent recycled plastics and other recyclable materials such as Slag Aggregates and RAP (Recycled Asphalt Products) with the rest made of virgin materials.

“The trial will allow us to assess whether we can use more recycled materials and plastic when we resurface our roads,” the Deputy Lord Mayor said.

The trial is a joint initiative from the City of Melbourne, its subsidiary Citywide, and the Citywide North Melbourne Asphalt Plant using plastic waste sourced from metropolitan Melbourne.

The Deputy Lord Mayor said the trial was an important step towards building a circular economy.

“The City of Melbourne uses 10 000 tonnes of asphalt annually and we resurfaced eight kilometres of road last year. This trial will help us understand whether it’s possible to use recycled plastic in more of our major projects,” the Deputy Lord Mayor said.

“This is an example of how we can work towards building a circular economy. 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.”

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