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UK road scheme recycles 100% of worn-out surface

World Cement,

Drivers on the newly-refurbished stretch of the A40 at Highnam in Gloucestershire, England, are unaware that they are on one of the most sustainable roads in the country. 

The £10 million project is the first of its kind in the UK in which everything removed from the site –including the old road surface – has been recycled. Road surfacing specialists Hanson Contracting re-used 100% of the worn-out road surfacing (planings) in the base layer of the rejuvenated trunk road. 

“This is probably one of the most complicated but rewarding contracts we have ever had,” said Denis Curran, Major Projects Firector at Hanson Contracting.

 “It has scored a double sustainability success in terms of its reuse of waste materials. As well as all the planings being recycled into the new structure, all the other site waste – including spoil, concrete and metal – is also being used, if not on this project then on others. “With sustainability at the top of everyone’s agenda, being able to offer recycling solutions like this is very important.” 

The 10 000 t of planings – some of which included tar, which is very expensive to dispose of – were recycled at Hanson’s Drybrook quarry in nearby Cinderford. Here, they were processed into a base course asphalt using a specialist mobile unit operated by partner Ringway. 

“Recycling the planings not only keeps costs down but it also saves on having to bring new materials in,” added Denis.  “We were able to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the site through fewer lorry trips as well as saving energy on processing the new base layer, which is a cold mix so requires no heating.”

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