Ratepayers in South Australia’s City of Mitcham could be enjoying solar power, with no upfront costs.
Paving material made with recycled tyres has been installed by the City of Mitcham, as part of a field trial in sustainable urban drainage design.
The permeable paving, created by the University of Melbourne with funding from Tyre Stewardship Australia, has been laid at St Marys Park in Adelaide.
The material is made from 50 per cent used tyres and is designed to assist water drainage through surface resistance.
Tyre Stewardship Australia CEO Lina Goodman said the City of Mitcham is one of many councils interested in investigating the performance of waste tyre permeable pavement.
“This trial will utilise four tonnes of tyre-derived aggregates, the equivalent to diverting 500 passenger tyres from the waste stream,” Ms Goodman said.
“This project is envisaged to be the first of many, and has been undertaken to demonstrate the effectiveness of the product.”
Ms Goodman said wide spread implementation of the material could see 300,000 tyres used in local government infrastructure per year.
“The use of end-of-life tyres as an aggregate blend for permeable pavement has various applications such as pedestrian walks, bike paths, car parks and low volume roads,” Ms Goodman said.
“TSA is eager to see more trials take place to showcase the products full potential in the urban environment.”
City of Mitcham Mayor Heather Holmes-Ross said the trial is a first for Australia, and will involve testing the permeable pavement under various traffic loads.
“We are very excited to be involved in this innovative trial. This paving product provides many benefits to the environment, including harvesting water to help water nearby trees and gardens,” Dr Holmes-Ross said.
“Not only does it sustain urban vegetation, it can help to increase groundwater recharge, reduce surface runoff, decrease the risk of flash-flooding and help with the treatment of storm water.”
Dr Holmes-Ross said equipment had been installed below the surface of the parking bays to monitor the performance of the pavement, as well as record the surface temperature of the different pavement colours.
“The pavement design has obvious benefits for water sustainable urban design, which will be evaluated during the trial,” Dr Holmes-Ross said.
The trial will also monitor the quality of water passing through the pavement structure, and evaluate its efficiency in reducing contamination of resulting waterways.
Around 850 used tyres have been recycled to pave a 335 metre stretch of road as part of a crumbed rubber asphalt trial in the City of Mitcham, South Australia.
The asphalt trial is funded by Tyre Stewardship Australia to support research and development into ways of improving local markets for tyre-derived products.
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A specific warm mix of dense-graded crumb rubber modified asphalt was used on the trial, which has been laboratory tested and found to be suitable for use in challenging underlying soil conditions, such as reactive clay.
The test will focus on a range of performance factors including cracking, rutting, moisture retention and general durability. The results of the test are expected to increase the specification of such roads across Australia.
If successful, the trail aims to contribute to doubling the use of recycled tyre rubber in Australia’s roads, leading to an increase in the percentage of annual used tyres consumed from around five per cent to 10 per cent.
Australia generates around 56 million end-of-life tyres each year, however only around 10 per cent of that volume is recycled domestically in all uses. Crumbed rubber asphalt and rubberised road surface spray seals can provide a potentially benefit of increasing recycling rates and improving roads.
City of Mitcham Mayor Heather Holmes-Ross said there was not only a sustainability dividend, as the asphalt will also have the potential to directly lower maintenance costs as it is less prone to cracking and rutting.
“We are trialling the crumb rubber asphalt because of the significant environmental benefits as well as the opportunity to improve the quality and life of road pavements, particularly in areas of reactive clay soils,” Ms Holmes-Ross said.
Acting CEO of Tyre Stewardship Australia Steve Clifford congratulated the council for conducting the test.
“The work done in South Australia will play an important role in creating valuable domestic recycling outcomes for end-of-life tyres. Outcomes that can also deliver new green jobs,” Mr Clifford said.
Ongoing testing is scheduled to run for two years, with results monitored on a regular basis to assess the key performance parameters.