Revolutionary road: the first ‘recycled’ road in Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets is now the first inner London borough to have a recycled road constructed from old tyres.

Tarmac, a company that developed a new technology which transforms rubber crumb from 40 million used tyres into asphalt. Roger Eche, Tarmac’s technical manager, says: ‘The hardest part of the procedure is to include the rubber crumb into the asphalt mix without damaging it.’

However, the installation of the asphalt itself takes exactly the same time and effort as the usual one, there is no need in extra equipment and it has the same life expectancy. Currently Tarmac supplies to five more London boroughs: Harrow, Greenwich, Bromley and the City of London. As 22 London boroughs have declared a climate emergency, in 12 months they have to come up with a plan as to how they are going to solve this problem,  so Tarmac is offering these boroughs help.

The first street to be recycled was Canrobert Street in Betnal Green, where approximately 100 recycled tyres were blended into a new pavement laid down by council contractors JB Rainey.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets commented that seeing innovative solutions for the recycling of waste that could otherwise be dumped or incinerated is great and this innovation will provide a safe surface with less emissions and damage during the installation process.

As Tower Hamlets council states, “The surface is laid at a lower temperature, which means that roads can be opened faster with a 10% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, improved on-site safety, less smoke and less risk of burns to workers.”

It is planned that more districts will appear in the Tower Hamlets area that will adopt this technology to reduce carbon footprint. The Council is also planning to switch to zero-emissions vehicles by 2028. 

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