Recycling trial continues for Lake Mac roads

Published on 08 June 2021

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Fishery Point Road in Bonnells Bay is the first public road in Lake Macquarie that has been resurfaced with Reconophalt – a road-pavement alternative that uses processed soft plastics. 

The cutting-edge product, developed at Downer’s asphalt plant in Teralba, uses processed soft plastics such as shopping bags and chip wrappers to act as a ‘glue’ that bonds and waterproof roads.

Over the course of the road resurfacing project it is estimated that the equivalent of 586,000 plastic bags, 184,000 glass bottles, toner from 13,200 printer cartridges and 220 tonnes of reclaimed asphalt will be used in the road surface, completing the recycling loop for these products.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Cr Kay Fraser said that this trial of the Reconophalt demonstrates how every day products can be reused and repurposed in a sustainable way.

“It’s really exciting to see this trial underway. It’s another wonderful circular economy initiative that offers a practical and sustainable solution for many products that would otherwise go to landfill,” Cr Fraser said.

The trial coincides with the release of Council’s Circular Economy Framework and Policy, which is the first of its kind by a council in Australia.

Lake Macquarie City Council’s Circular Economy Lead Debbie O’Byrne said the development of the Framework and Policy is a great step forward for the City and the wider Hunter region.

“Shifting to a Circular Economy really means using innovation and ideas to design out waste and pollution, exploring how we can keep materials in use, and working to regenerate our natural systems,” Ms Byrne said.

“We have a wonderful opportunity here in the Hunter to lead the way in Australia, especially with our local expertise and skills in manufacturing that lend themselves to circular economy industries.”

Another project that Council has recently applied our circular economy principles to is the $2.8 million transformation of Pearson Street Mall in Charlestown. As part of the works, the old pavers from Pearson Street Mall were collected and will be re-used as part of the replacement project for the Landcare building in Teralba.

“It’s wonderful that we have been able to quickly take our new Circular Economy Framework, lift it off the page and practically apply it to a real-life project. It’s simple and exciting to see what we can achieve with a slight change of thinking about waste and reusing materials,” added Cr Fraser. 

To find out more about Council’s Circular Economy Framework and Policy, visit lakemac.com.au/Our-Council/Current-projects/Circular-Economy

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