Mon November 07, 2022 – Northeast Edition #24
Staten Island is now home to the first public roads in New York to be created using waste plastic, following a partnership between New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) and British waste plastic road company MacRebur.
The two roads, located on Rice Avenue and Royal Oak Road, form the first stages of a revolutionary trial that sees otherwise unrecyclable plastics re-engineered into a new, high quality, sustainable polymer and given a new lease of life within asphalt mix in road construction.
The new eco-friendly surfaces have saved more than 7,331 kg of CO2e in comparison to traditional asphalt and diverted the equivalent weight of 214,534 single-use plastic bottles from landfill.
Taking place over four days, MacRebur and NYC DOT have worked with asphalt producer City Asphalt to lay four different types of asphalt mix, using more than 2,400 tons of hot mix asphalt.
While the first mix contains solely traditional asphalt, the remaining three each consist of asphalt mixed with a percentage of MacRebur’s waste plastic additive, which replaces part of the bitumen (fossil fuel) binder.
The trial sections will now be tested and monitored to measure performance against traditional asphalt by Thomas Bennert at Rutgers University — one of the leading U.S. universities in asphalt research and testing, with results expected before the end of the year.
Roddy McEwen, an international business officer at MacRebur, said: “Having worked with the team at NYC DOT for just over a year, it’s refreshing to see such enthusiasm about new technology and products for use in asphalt.
“Whilst trials sections such as these typically take up to three years from start to finish, we have worked together to begin trials within just four months — with a long-term goal of utilizing local waste for local roads.”
Producing and laying 1.1 million tons of asphalt each year, NYC DOT is one of the United States leaders in using Recycling Asphalt Pavement and typically uses 40 percent in every mix.
Ydanis Rodriguez, NYC DOT commissioner, said, “Using recycled plastic waste has the potential to solve our growing plastic waste problem and improve the quality of our streets by cutting carbon emissions and reducing potholes.
“We are excited to partner with MacRebur on this promising pilot and look forward to monitoring how its asphalt mix performs in New York City weather.”
Matthew Cruz, general manager at City Asphalt, added, “When NYC DOT advised us of the trial using waste plastic in asphalt, we were initially reluctant as we hadn’t had much experience with the introduction of new products into our new Gencor plant.
“However, as we researched the product and had the opportunity to discuss with other asphalt plant operators, our reluctance turned to curiosity and excitement. The opportunity to address a major environmental concern seemed too good to be true.
“With prices for bituminous oil being so volatile, anything that can be done to reduce the use of this product in our mixes and still give our customers the same high standard product that they demand from City Asphalt is a plus.
“We commend MacRebur for its efforts in attempting to address one of the modern world’s bigger issues, and we look forward to working with them to bring this new technology to the ‘Big Apple.”
First expanding to the United States in 2020, MacRebur’s product is now used all over the world, creating waste plastic roads everywhere from Australia and Estonia, to Croatia, Spain, and Greece.
For more information on MacRebur, visit www.macrebur.com/us.
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