Council Services / Community

Kingborough Council - Turning Recycling Into Road

You may not know it, but if you’re driving in the coastal town of Snug, you could be driving on the equivalent of 173,600 plastic bags and packaging and 82,500 glass bottles!

Kingborough Council is the first Council in Tasmania to construct a road using waste diverted from landfill.  Along with soft plastics and glass, toner from approximately 5,900 used printer cartridges and more than 33 tonnes of recycled asphalt have been repurposed to create 330 tonnes of asphalt used to construct the road along Charlton Street in Snug. The waste products are melted down into an additive to asphalt, creating a non-polluting product that consumes waste.

BCBC Charlton Street Snug

The road is a result of a partnership between Kingborough Council and Downer with resource recovery and recycling companies Close the Loop and RED Group.  Kingborough Council is committed to trying to reduce its environmental footprint through waste minimisation and finding environmentally responsible solutions for waste. Council estimates that the 500 metres of road in Snug is about equivalent to two years of single use plastic collected from the Kingborough municipality!

Roads that are built from repurposed waste products are slightly more expensive to construct that standard road surfaces, however they are expected to last 15 percent longer than regular petroleum-based asphalt.  In addition to consuming waste and reducing demand on fossil fuel products, carbon emissions are reduced by more than 20% with about 14 kilograms of CO2 saved per tonne of asphalt.

BCBC Charlton Street Snug 4

The partnership demonstrates the importance of councils, industries and the community working together to create economic, social and environmental value for products that would more than likely end up in landfill, stockpiled, or as a pollutant in our natural environments. Following Kingborough Council’s lead, it is likely other Tasmanian councils will investigate using waste diverted from land fill for road surfacing. With councils around Australia starting to use the waste sourced additive to asphalt, Local Government may be able to make a real difference by reducing waste and carbon emissions and providing longer lasting roads!