Work has commenced on the first Ballarat road to be resurfaced with asphalt containing recycled materials.
A 200 metre section of road on Birdwood Avenue in Sebastopol is being upgraded using Reconophalt, a form of asphalt that contains soft plastics, ink toner residue, glass and recycled asphalt.
The innovative form of asphalt has been used as a road surface in a number of municipalities including in Melbourne.
City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Ben Taylor said council hoped the Birdwood Avenue resurfacing project would show more recycled products could be used in Ballarat's roads.
"Using products such as Reconophalt is a great example of how we can shift waste from an issue to an opportunity," he said.
Around 50,000 plastic bag equivalents, 16,000 crushed glass bottles not suitable for re-manufacture, and the colours from more than 1200 toner cartridges will be used for this 200 metre stretch of road between Grant Street and Albion Street.
Using products such as Reconophalt is a great example of how we can shift waste from an issue to an opportunity.- Cr Ben Taylor
But the waste materials come from Melbourne, where the Reconophalt is produced, according to City of Ballarat.
Cr Taylor said the ideal result in the long-term would be to use Ballarat's waste materials in local roads.
"If this is successful here, and by the looks of it it will be, we will be looking at every opportunity across the city to utilise the surface where we can," he said.
"If we can look at an industry here locally to utilise recycled material, that is what we want, to create industry and create jobs."
The Reconophalt is supplied by Downer and the contractor for the resurfacing is Ballarat company Butler Excavations.
The cost is competitive with traditional forms of asphalt, however there is an extra cost for transport of the product from Melbourne, according to City of Ballarat.
The appearance is similar to traditional asphalt and it is reported to have enhanced properties of improved strength, lasts longer, is more resistant to extreme heat and is better at handling heavy vehicles.
Cr Taylor said City of Ballarat was continuing to advocate for state government to support a recycling materials sorting facility in Ballarat to create higher value recycling product and hopefully incentivise business innovation in re-manufacture.
He said there were currently trials underway to use Ballarat's glass that is being stockpiled in Wendouree, including crushing it into sand for use in products like concrete.
A second trail is sorting glass to be sold to recyclers.
"It is still a very immature market at the moment but we are trying to build that up and have enough resources to go to market," Cr Taylor said.
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