A new project run by the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) and Tire Stewardship Australia (TSA) will trial the use of rubber from old tires in the asphalt of a busy Melbourne road.
The TSA organization was formed five years ago to implement the national Tire Product Stewardship Scheme that promotes the development of viable markets for end-of-life tires. Only about 10% of the almost 56 million tires discarded annually in Australia are used for beneficial product outcomes domestically. The rest are exported or disposed to landfill, stockpiled or illegally dumped. Co-funded by TSA, the State of Victoria Department of Transport and ARRB, the research project will lay the asphalt and tire rubber mix on a mile-long (1.5km) section of the southbound carriageway on East Boundary Road in the Melbourne suburb of Bentleigh East.
The study will be conducted by the ARRB, an independent national transport research organization. The project will trial a range of innovative asphalt mixes incorporating crumbed rubber on a key section of the city’s road network, with performance monitored over time. The trial is the first of its kind based on the project’s scale and number of mixes being tested at the same time. Laboratory and field testing will be conducted at regular intervals, with a final report due by mid-2022.
“Rubber is routinely used in rural road surfacing in Victoria. The aim of this project is to increase the opportunity to use crumb rubber in metropolitan roads,” said the CEO of TSA, Lina Goodman. “This trial is a landmark opportunity in the development of the circular economy in Australia.”
Melissa Lyons, senior professional leader at ARRB, said, “We are proud to be a supporting partner of this project which is about finding sustainable solutions to Australia’s tire problem. Our mission is firmly focused on creating knowledge for tomorrow’s transport challenges and solutions for today.”