Tower Hamlets is now the first borough in London to have a road partly built up from old recycled tyres. With the world in dire need of some more eco-friendly improvements, this is a step in the right direction!
Following a successful trial on the M1 motorway, Tower Hamlets Council have worked with Tarmac to approve the new type of surface using rubber crumbs from old wasted tyres and mixed into asphalt.
Work recently began in Bethnal Green on Canrobert Street using 100 recycled tyres, mixing them into a new road surface laid by council contractors JB Riney.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, says: “It’s great to see innovative solutions to repurposing waste that could otherwise go to landfill or incineration. We were one of the first councils to declare a climate emergency and we’re keen to explore all ideas that can reduce our impact on the environment. This product will provide a safe surface with less emissions and disruption during the laying process. We want residents and businesses to think about how they can reduce their carbon footprint so it’s important we do our bit too.”
As well as using recycled materials, they are using up to 10% less carbon dioxide emissions with their improved way of working. The surface is laid at a lower temperature which means the roads can be re-opened quicker, there is reduced fumes, less risk of workers being burnt and improved site safety.
Brian Kent, national technical director at Tarmac, said: “Used tyres remain a significant and overlooked waste stream and our new, innovative rubber modified asphalts offer a more sustainable option for local roads.
“It’s fantastic to see the London Borough of Tower Hamlets taking the lead in the capital and delivering environmental savings by leveraging this new technology and unlocking the benefits of a circular economic approach.”
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References: Tower Hamlets gets first ‘rubber road’ in London – Grant Prior, Construction Enquirer 13th February 2020