Plastics in the Asphalt Mix

guys working on asphalt

source: MoDOT Photos

To the trash bin no more… says the shampoo bottle.

Another green idea, this time, came from the City of Vancouver. Recycling shampoo bottles, milk jugs, yogurt and ice cream tubs, the city has used these recycled on their plastic asphalt paving. This is another act part of their Greenest City 2020 initiative that has been tested in several parts of Vancouver.

According to city engineer Peter Judd, the melted plastic, resembling that of a crayon wax is mixed in the asphalt. This recycled material actually makes the asphalt flow smoothly and at a lower temperature.

Judd explains that the typical asphalt mix requires about 140-160C to flow onto the road. However, the recycled plastic makes it possible to flow at a temperature reduced by up to 40C. That means 20% less fuel costs and a big saving in the greenhouse gases.

Although this recycled material comprises only 1% of the asphalt mix, the new mix costs 3% higher than the regular one. However, looking at a longer term, it will be cost efficient.
Also showed in their demonstration on one of the roads, the mix actually increased the asphalt’s viscosity and decreased the amount of vapors it has released. Judd believes that the gas emissions can also be well reduced to 300 tonnes.

A really great move that might earn Vancouver “the greenest city in the world” title.
If you want to follow up on this project, you can check City of Vancouver website for their updates.


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