Sutherland Shire

Overview

Sutherland Shire Council has partnered with Downer and Close the Loop to set a new benchmark in sustainability and innovation, constructing the first road in New South Wales utilising Reconophalt, an innovative asphalt product that contains a combination of soft plastics and glass. Downer is proud to take a lead role in repurposing soft plastics and glass in asphalt for road construction to create a sustainable, cost effective solution that has improved performance characteristics over conventional asphalt.

The road constructed in Engadine with soft plastics and glass in asphalt demonstrates the economic, social and environmental value for products that would likely end up in landfill, stockpiled, or as a pollutant in our natural environments.

More importantly, utilising soft plastics and glass in road construction proves that with thought leadership in sustainability and partnerships with progressive and environmentally conscious governments, suppliers and customers, we can continue to set new benchmarks in repurposing and recycling waste materials into new streams of use.

This project is co-funded through the NSW Environment Protection Authority Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.

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Recycled content breakdown

Every tonne of Reconophalt paved on the road will incorporate approximately:

  • 800 plastic bag and packaging equivalents
  • 252 glass bottle equivalents
  • Toner from 18 used printer cartridges
  • 300kg of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP).
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Local content

Based on the road frontage of each house (an average of 80m2), the road constructed in Engadine will recycle:

  • 7,680 plastic bag and packaging equivalents per house, an average of 128 weeks household consumption
  • 2,400 glass bottle equivalents per house, an average of 171
    weeks of household consumption
  • Toner from 160 used printer cartridges per house.
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Sustainability credentials

Reconophalt contains:

  • Soft plastics and glass that would likely end up in landfill, stockpiled, or as a pollutant in our natural environment
  • Greater than 35% total recycled material content.
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Innovative partnerships

  • Downer partnered closely with resource recovery and recycling company Close the Loop to innovatively tailor the soft plastic product offering to suit a road construction application.
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Improved performance

Compared to standard RMS specified asphalt, Reconophalt has shown:

  • 60% improvement in fatigue for longer life pavements
  • Superior deformation resistance for withstanding heavy vehicular traffic.