Highway Services at Enfield Council has recently carried out the first London trial of a ground-breaking asphalt in September 2017. This unique asphalt mix developed by Lockerbie based company MacRebur has only been used a handful of times to date with Enfield’s trial providing data on the performance and long-term durability of the product.
The works were carried out on a section of Green Dragon Lane between Hadley Road and Deepdene Court. The site was chosen as it is a relatively busy Borough Road taking the 125, 616 and 699 Bus routes providing a good test of the strength and hardwearing properties of the product. Works took place during the daytime over the course of three days at a cost of around £60,000.
The product is a Bitumen substitute made from waste plastics that can only be used in a standard asphalt mix. While it can be used throughout the asphalt layers in the road construction Enfield’s trial utilised it in the surface (wearing) course where its performance can be monitored both visually and through the testing of samples.
MacRebur currently produce three waste plastic products for use in asphalt MR6, MR8 & MR10. Each of the products alters both the strength and flexibility of the asphalt mix to a different degree so different mixes can be chosen to fit the needs of different sites. At Green Dragon Lane all three products were used alongside a standard asphalt so a comparison could be made against a product already widely used around the Borough.
The introduction of waste plastics into an asphalt mix make it more environmentally friendly and provides an opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint of road construction.
David Wykes Business Development Manager for MacRebur confirmed that ‘In terms of plastic used in the surfacing our element of the binder would be over half a tonne of plastic on this one scheme alone (Green Dragon Lane), in the schemes that MacRebur have supplied already we have saved over 20 tonnes of plastic ending up in landfill, with this number growing all the time.’
The road surfacing industry has a significant environmental impact in terms of carbon footprint through the use of oil-based products and quarried material. Seeking new and innovative ways to mitigate this impact especially through the use of waste plastics is something Enfield were keen to trial and if successful would look to use ‘where appropriate’ in future programmes of work.
Following this successful trial, Highway Services have made a bid for additional funding to Transport for London for further trials in Enfield.
Waste Plastics used in asphalt mix:
Green Dragon Lane - condition of carriageway before work commenced: