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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Nottinghamshire road trials new rubber surface

Rubber road

Sustainable asphalt made from recycled waste tyres used on section of A6075 near Mansfield
A ROAD in Nottinghamshire has become one of the first in the country to be resurfaced with a revolutionary new sustainable asphalt made from recycled waste tyres.
A section of the A6075 Forest Road in Ollerton, near Mansfield, was recently part of a trial for a new asphalt, developed by Tarmac, that uses granulated rubber from recycled tyres in its mix.

Subject to receiving its rubber stamp of approval, the environmentally friendly material could become the way forward for the country’s future road surfaces and help to find a use for the 40 million waste tyres that are produced every year in the UK.

Tarmac have calculated that up to 750 waste tyres could be used in every kilometre of road resurfaced with the new material, depending on the thickness of the road, helping to reduce the 120,000 tonnes of rubber waste, including 500,000 tyres, that are exported from the UK annually.

Ed Thompson, general manager of Highway Services at Tarmac, said: ‘Thanks to the likes of Sir David Attenborough and the ‘Blue Planet effect’, the focus on reducing single-use plastic waste has rightly attracted media headlines – however used tyres remain a significant source of waste that many people are unaware of.

‘There has been a very positive response to our innovative rubberized asphalt and we’re very pleased to be working with Nottinghamshire County Council and Via East Midlands on this trial in Ollerton to explore its potential to support a more sustainable road network, both here in the county and across the UK.’

Doug Coutts, managing director of Via East Midlands, said: ‘I’m really pleased that working collaboratively with Tarmac, we have been able to conduct an innovative trial involving the reusing of rubber from old tyres in asphalt to help reduce waste.

‘We’re strongly focused on sustainability and working with partners on developments like this allows us to reduce our environmental impact, whilst helping to bring new solutions to the market.’

Councillor John Cottee, chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Communities and Place Committee, added: ‘Every day in Britain some 100,000 worn tyres are taken off cars, vans and trucks and sent for recycling, having travelled thousands of miles along our highways, so it seems highly appropriate that they should return to those highways as part of a good-quality, sustainable road-surfacing material.

‘Subject to the success of the trial of the new asphalt in Ollerton, I look forward to this environmentally friendly, cost-effective material quite literally being rolled out across the county, as part of our ongoing programme to deliver much-needed improvements to many of Nottinghamshire’s roads.’  

Tarmac’s long-term partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council and Via East Midlands to operate and maintain the county’s roads began in 2013.

The development of rubber asphalt is part of the company’s commitment to sustainability, with the business recycling 8.7 million tonnes of waste from other industries every year. It also builds on Tarmac’s reuse of waste tyres to power its cement kilns and its commitment as a net user of waste.

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