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Rubber and plastic road resurfacing

Using recycled material to resurface our roads.


Following a review of road service provision and in line with government guidance, we will be working on a limited number of projects where it is safe to do so including:

  • road resurfacing and specialist surface schemes
  • gully cleansing and maintenance
  • street lighting maintenance
  • bridges and structures.

There will be delays in responding to non-emergency and non-essential works. All activity will be undertaken with staff working to social distancing guidance.

Critical and emergency works including emergency repairs, road traffic accidents and emergency road defects will continue.

We have introduced recycled plastic waste into all our road resurfacing projects and laid approximately 21 km road way countywide, using more than 50,000 tonnes of material and recycling an equivalent of 50 million plastic carrier bags into the road surface mix.

Together with our resurfacing partner, Rainton Construction, we are now introducing rubber crumb into the asphalt mix. The rubber tyre crumb which is being added to the surfacing mixture is a waste biproduct of the tyre recycling process and is sourced locally using tyres which have been collected from across County Durham.

As well as having a positive environmental impact by removing material from going to a lanfill site, the combined properties from the rubber and plastics also enhance the performance of the road. Combining the two waste products to the resurfacing mix will add the following properties:

  • water-resistant surface, reducing the risks from the freeze-thaw actions which cause potholes
  • improves the elastic properties making it less likely to crack
  • more resistant to wear and tear
  • less likely distort in hot weather

The new road surface is expected to last longer than traditional materials and when the road surface needs replacing, the materials can be reprocessed and used again.

Each 20 tonne truck load of surfacing material we use from now on will now include the equivalent of approximately 1,064 single use carrier bags and the crumb from 51 car tyres.

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