26 Mar 2020

Paving the way to a more sustainable, cooler future

Slideshow:

  • City of Parramatta cool road initiative
    City of Parramatta cool road initiative

City of Parramatta Council is trialling two innovative sustainable road solutions aimed at reducing waste materials and combatting heat. 

In the first of these trials, Chelmsford Avenue in Epping and Honor Street in Ermington were resurfaced with ‘Reconophalt’ ‒ an asphalt product incorporating recycled soft plastics from plastic bags and packaging, waste glass and waste toner from used printer cartridges. 

“Single-use plastics and other materials are a growing problem for our environment. Finding new ways to recycle and reuse materials means we can reduce the amount of waste that ultimately enters landfill,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer said. 

“By taking tonnes of plastic and glass from local recycling plants and using it to create roads, we are able to turn trash into treasured infrastructure.”

According to the manufacturer of Reconophalt, Downer, the equivalent of approximately 500,000 plastic  bags, 165,000 glass bottles, and 12,500 toner cartridges is diverted from landfill for every 1km of a two-lane road. 

Downer’s General Manager of Pavements, Stuart Billing, said: “Together with the City of Parramatta, we are creating new avenues to recycle and repurpose waste materials into new streams of use and reducing the community’s reliance upon increasingly scarce virgin materials.”

This project has been partially funded through the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s ‘Waste Less, Recycle More’ initiative, which has been funded by the waste levy.

The second trial, which is being conducted in partnership with Blacktown and Campbelltown councils and Western Sydney University, will examine how lighter coloured roads can help reduce the amount of heat being absorbed and retained by roads on hot days.

Renoir Street, Old Toongabbie; Roslyn Avenue, Northmead; Corry Court and carpark, North Parramatta; and part of Binalong Park car park, Old Toongabbie are among the first roads in NSW to be coated with a new ‘cool’ seal coat, GuardTop CoolSeal. 

CoolSeal is a light grey coloured coating, which can be 5-14ºC cooler than regular dark asphalt on a hot day. It is applied to asphalt surfaces to protect and maintain the quality and longevity of the surface.

SuperSealing CEO Ben Reiter said: “Most cities need some sort of relief from the heat island effect. CoolSeal is a practical way to address this, and it’s great that SuperSealing can partner with Parramatta, Blacktown and Campbelltown councils to use innovation to help improve their communities.”

Researchers from Western Sydney University will collect and analyse data taken from the trial sites, before determining the product’s overall impact in reducing heat.

“As Western Sydney can be several degrees hotter than suburbs in the east, it is crucial we explore ways we can keep our streets cooler – especially in the summer,” Cr Dwyer said. 

“Parramatta is going through an incredible period of growth and transformation, and Council is dedicated to building a sustainable and innovative City that will meet the needs of our community well into the future. These road projects are just two examples of how we are achieving this.”