Soft plastics, glass and toner helping build a sustainable Craigieburn Road

Work has wrapped up on the first section of road as part of the Craigieburn Road Upgrade to be resurfaced with asphalt containing recycled materials.

Just over a 1km section of road at the Mickleham Road and Craigieburn Road intersection was upgraded using more than 3 and a half tonnes of Reconophalt™, a form of asphalt containing a binder made from soft plastics and ink toner residue as well as glass and recycled asphalt.

Around 800,000 plastic bag equivalents, 250,000 crushed glass bottles not suitable for re-manufacture, and more than 18,000 old toner cartridges was used for this section of road in and around the intersection.

It’s the first time Reconophalt™ has been laid on the Craigieburn Road Upgrade, demonstrating the Victorian Government’s Recycled First Policy in action, having successfully been used on past Major Road Projects Victoria projects, such as the M80 Ring Road and Duncans Road.

The Reconophalt™ is being supplied and laid by Australian company Downer, with the cost being competitive with traditional forms of asphalt. Reconophalt™ contains recycled materials that would otherwise end up in landfill. It has considerable sustainability and performance benefits, such as greater durability over time, reduced energy use and lower cost – and can even be recycled at the end of its useful life.

The stability and strength of asphalt is better than traditional forms of asphalt, increasing the rutting resistance, reducing cracking and extending fatigue life by 65%. This is driving the circular economy through practical application for communities, while reducing the reliance upon increasingly scarce virgin materials. There are plans for Reconophalt™ to be used extensively along the project alignment in coming months.

The Craigieburn Road Upgrade team’s sustainable practices mean most construction waste is being taken to recycling facilities where it is processed to produce new products and materials.

MRPV and its construction partners, supported by ecologiQ, are committed to identifying ways to use more recycled materials across all major road upgrades, in line with the Victorian Government’s Recycled First Policy.

“ecologiQ is supporting industry to integrate recycled and reused materials across Victoria’s $90 billion Big Build, making the use of such materials business-as-usual,” said ecologiQ Director Tony Aloisio The policy, being delivered by ecologiQ, requires contractors on road and rail projects to optimise the use of recycled and reused content.

Recycled First is being implemented across future Victorian Big Build projects as well as Department of Transport and Planning (DTP) projects from 2022.

More information about the Victorian Government’s Recycled First policy can be found on ecologiQ's Recycled First Policy page and updates on the Craigieburn Road upgrade can be found on the Craigieburn Road upgrade project page.