Waste Management In Action

Recycling Precinct delivering for the road network: Tyrecycle

South Australia’s new $5 million Asphalt Manufacturing Plant will substantially increase the amount of high-performance recycled materials in local road construction.

The development of a new Asphalt Plant in Adelaide’s southern suburbs at Lonsdale, is a collaboration between leading companies Topcoat Asphalt, ResourceCo, Tyrecycle and McMahon Services.

ResourceCo and Tyrecycle Chief Executive Officer Jim Fairweather says it’s a significant and exciting initiative to progress the use of high recycled content mixes including recycled asphalt and crumb rubber for road surfacing in South Australia.

Topcoat has secured a long-term lease with ResourceCo on the 12,000 square metre site, establishing its asphalt operations on land adjacent to Tyrecycle’s processing plant and ResourceCo’s purpose-built resource recovery facility, to create an innovative Recycling Precinct.

“It’s a commitment, whereby working together in such close proximity, we can create better efficiencies in recycling technology and sustainable solutions – in this case for Adelaide’s southern suburbs,” Fairweather says.

“The Topcoat Plant will lead to a major improvement to the recycling rate of used tyres on our roads which is vital in creating a long-lasting, environmentally sustainable and better road network for all drivers and vehicles.

“At Tyrecycle, we collect approximately 4200 tonnes of truck tyres in South Australia annually, but only six per cent of the rubber crumb material we process is reused in the state, with the resource instead being supplied at other major destinations Australia-wide.

“It’s about repurposing more waste tyres by increasing the local usage of crumb rubber asphalt specifically for the surfacing of local roads.”

As a leading Australian tyre recycler, Tyrecycle is at the forefront of helping the road construction and maintenance sector build better roads and significantly reduce their environmental footprint.

The company shreds end-of-life tyres in Australia, turning them into granules and powders to manufacture crumb rubber for road surfacing.

Tyrecycle is part of the highly regarded integrated resource recovery group, ResourceCo, which collects and processes construction and demolition waste materials in all states of Australia, consisting of asphalt, concrete, bricks and rubble.

“ResourceCo’s recycled asphalt waste will play an important role in Topcoat’s Manufacturing Plant and aligns with our objectives for the Recycling Precinct to divert waste from landfill, extract its maximum vale and ensure that it’s never wasted,” Fairweather says.

Topcoat has partnered with Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA), who has funded the nation’s largest crumb rubber asphalt trial to resurface roads across six Adelaide council areas using recycled tyres.

20,000 kilograms of crumb rubber was used to resurface local roads– the equivalent of 3400 passenger vehicles.

Topcoat General Manager Kelly Manning says the trial is an important link to the operation of the Recycling Precinct and supporting a circular economy, major investment and local jobs.

“The use of crumb rubber asphalt for road surfacing will not only result in significant environmental benefits, but also has the potential in the long-term to reduce costs for ratepayers,” Manning says.

Road pavement applications including asphalt account for 25 per cent of the Australian recycled rubber market.

Recycled rubber for use in road surfaces such as crumb rubber asphalt enhances performance, significantly reduces road noise and dramatically extends their life by making the surface more durable.

It is also more resistant to structural damage such as fatigue cracking and offers improved waterproofing qualities.

“In the face of COVID-19, never has there been a more important time for Australian manufacturers to seize on homegrown solutions to boost the local economy,” Fairweather says.

“The Recycling Precinct provides a great example of a joint effort for a long-term sustainable solution to have an improved road network and better quality surfacing for all vehicles while driving local investment and jobs.”

Tyrecycle continues to work with government and industry to increase awareness of the importance of tyre recycling and why it should be mandatory for Australian recovered tyres to be used in the construction of roads.

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