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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Tarmac help deliver greener roads in Leicestershire

Rubber-modified asphalt

County Council places biggest order to date for new rubberized asphalt from Mountsorrel Quarry

TARMAC are helping Leicestershire County Council to deliver greener roads with the biggest supply to date of a new rubberized asphalt for the resurfacing of the A426 Blaby Bypass. With 4,800 tonnes supplied, the asphalt incorporates rubber from approximately 3,300 waste car tyres.

Locally supplied from the company’s Mountsorrel Quarry, near Loughborough, the new rubber-modified asphalt combines end-of-life tyres with warm-mix asphalt technology, delivering a significantly reduced carbon footprint.

Leicestershire County Council was awarded £5 million from the Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund, allocated by the Department of Transport, to carry out the works on a key part of the network which includes resurfacing and strengthening sections of the carriageway at the end of their life cycles.

The Council was supported in its bid by the team at Tarmac who provided detailed information on the sustainability benefits of using warm-mix and rubber-modified asphalt technology.

Brian Kent, national technical director at Tarmac, said: ‘It's fantastic to see Leicestershire County Council embracing the many benefits of these new asphalt technologies and become the first authority to use the new material for a project of this scale.

‘It's vital that other authorities follow their lead in adopting the use of the more sustainable highways solutions available which support local and central government ambitions to achieve net-zero targets, as well as benefiting road users, local residents and the highways workforce.’

In comparison to conventional hot-mix asphalt, the use of the warm-mix technology has delivered a saving of more than 14 tonnes of CO2 in total – the equivalent to the emissions generated by cars travelling an estimated 116,000km.

Trevor Pendleton, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: ‘Using recycled and carbon-friendly components for our road improvements emphasizes our commitment to improving the environment.

‘Work on both the Blaby and Harborough bypasses is already almost completed with minimal disruption to motorists and I am delighted to see the environmentally friendly innovations used in this project.’

Tarmac’s rubber-modified asphalt incorporates the rubber of up to 500 waste stream tyres in every kilometre of highway surfaced, depending on the thickness of the road. This would help to reduce the up to 150,000 tonnes of rubber waste which is exported annually from the UK as fuel for cement kilns, primarily to countries in North Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

The initiative is part of Tarmac’s commitment to the circular economy, with the business recycling circa 8 million tonnes of waste from other industries every year. It also builds on the company’s reuse of waste tyres to power its cement kilns and its commitment as a net user of waste.

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