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"Game changer" on our roads

Posted: 7am 09 Feb 2021

Clontarf has become the first suburb in Australia to have a new “game-changing” road surface made, a few hundred metres away, from used tyres.

Around 700m of King St, between Maine Rd and Snook St in Clontarf, has been resurfaced using Carbonphalt, a new product from Austek, based in Grice St.

Developed over 10 months with tyre processor Pearl Global, Austek’s “world first” system extracts carbon char and fuel oil from used tyres to make a stronger, more durable and darker asphalt

From left - Paul Morris, from Norwell Motorplex; David Simmons, General Manager of Austek Asphalt Production and Mayor Peter Flannery inspect the new asphalt on King Street, Clontarf.

Street upgrade

The stretch of King St was upgraded last month using Carbonphalt made from 22,115 used tyres, said David Simmons, General Manager of Austek Asphalt Production.

“If look at news reels, used tyres are one of the biggest problems in Australia,” said David, who has been in the industry 42 years.

“The problem was couldn’t use passenger tyres so much, more heavy truck tyres, because of the rubber and content. But this process uses everything.

“The process is comparable in cost and we hope to get more roads in this region, but we are talking to other councils.

How the new King Street road surface started as used tyres

Game changer

“The level of interest is great as it’s a game changer in our industry. There’s been nothing like it that I’ve seen. It’s unheard of. It’s a world first (process).”

Paul Morris, from Norwell Motorplex near Ormeau, tested the new surface and said: “We punished it pretty hard … and this should be everywhere.

“It has all the properties of normal asphalt. For us it had to be durable and have good grip levels in the wet. It ticks the box on environment.”

Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Peter Flannery was delighted 22,000 used tyres were not going to landfill.

The machinery at Pearl Global which processes the tyres

Landfill shock

“I was shocked to learn 70 per cent of Queensland tyres end up in landfill, and with around 130,000 registered vehicles here in Moreton Bay, I wholeheartedly believe we need to do our part to reduce the number of tyres going to the tip,” he said.

“Tyres can take up to 80 years to break down and take up an enormous amount of space in landfill, so I’m thrilled to instead be using a waste product as part of an infrastructure solution.

“We are the third largest Council in Australia, so I’m proud to be taking a leading position on how we can reuse and recycle, to ensure we leave our environment in a better place for our children.”

The carbon black extracted from used tyres and used by Austek to produce new asphalt.

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