The Gympie council has used recycled rubbish to lay new asphalt in one of the city's oldest inner streets.
The Gympie council has used recycled rubbish to lay new asphalt in one of the city's oldest inner streets. Rob Wright

$440k inner city project a first for the Gympie region

ONE of Gympie's oldest residential streets is rubbish, thanks to a new form of environmentally friendly and sustainable asphalt made from recycled plastics, rubber and glass.

Deputy Mayor Bob Leitch said Barter Street in Gympie's CBD was the first road in the region to be laid using the recycled road surface.

"This is a step in the right direction for our region,” Cr Leitch said.

"Our impact on the environment is always at the forefront of council's mind and by utilising this recycled road surface, we are making sure our environmental responsibility is fulfilled.

"The materials this road surface is made from, such as printer toner cartridges and tyre rubber, would have otherwise ended up in landfill,” Cr Leitch said.

The Gympie council has used recycled rubbish to lay new asphalt in one of the city's oldest inner streets.
The Gympie council has used recycled rubbish to lay new asphalt in one of the city's oldest inner streets. Rowan Schindler

Unlike traditional road surfaces, the recycled asphalt is held together with a modified binder made from crumb rubber, soft plastics, old printer cartridges and glass.

A kilometre of road can contain up to 500,000 plastic bags and packaging equivalents, 165,000 glass bottle equivalents and toner from 12,000 printer cartridges.

The recycled asphalt is also more cost effective. For example, with Barter St, quotes to use the modified product came in $40,000 cheaper than traditional asphalt products. Furthermore, the recycled material has been rigorously tested and proven to provide superior properties than the traditional material typically used for these works.

The Gympie council has used recycled rubbish to lay new asphalt in one of the city's oldest inner streets.
The Gympie council has used recycled rubbish to lay new asphalt in one of the city's oldest inner streets. Stuart Quinn

"While council have a responsibility to the environment, we also have a responsibility to our residents,” Cr Leitch said.

"If we can use a product that is cheaper, environmentally friendly and of the same if not higher quality than traditional products, we need to make serious efforts to do so.

"My understanding is council staff are making plans to use this material on industrial roads around our region in the near future,” Cr Leitch said.

The Barter Street project also included footpath and residential driveway works, as well as the planting of new trees.

The total project budget was $438,000 with the Australian Government contributing $81,802 from the Roads to Recovery fund.

Gympie Times


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