When the rubber meets the road: Tarmac celebrates UK first

05/06/2019
Dominic Browne

A new asphalt that uses recycled waste tyres has been launched by Tarmac.

The leading materials and construction firm is thought to be the first in the UK to develop such an asphalt technology, which is capable of recycling end-of-life tyres (ELTs) into roads using granulated rubber in the asphalt mix. 

Tarmac estimates that it will be possible to recycle and reuse up to 750 waste tyres for every kilometre of highway surfaced with the new material, depending on the thickness of the road, which would help to reduce the 120,000 tonnes of rubber waste exported from the UK annually.

The initiative is part of Tarmac’s commitment to the circular economy and to be a net user of waste.

The business recycles 8.7 million tonnes of waste from other industries every year, and reuses waste tyres to power its cement kilns.

Brian Kent, technical director at Tarmac, said: 'While plastic recycling has attracted media headlines, used tyres remain a significant and overlooked waste stream and our new innovative rubber modified asphalts offer a more sustainable option for our industry and the environment.

'Rubber is used in asphalt across the USA, but in the UK there is a lack of the necessary industrial infrastructure required to allow manufacture of this type of material. Against the backdrop of major investment in the strategic road network there is now an opportunity to leverage this technology and unlock the benefits of this circular economic approach.'

As part of recent trials of the new material, Tarmac supplied asphalt with rubber in Coventry.

Rob Little, senior engineer, highways technical, Coventry City Council, added: 'Coventry City Council is delighted with the rubberised asphalt trial; we hope we can use more of the product across the city in the future to help divert waste tyres from landfill and incineration to reduce the carbon footprint for road construction projects in Coventry.

'We are proud to be leading with our partners, Balfour Beatty and Tarmac in providing road surfaces which are providing significant environmental benefits for our communities.'

Peter Taylor OBE, secretary general of the Tyre Recovery Association commented: 'While there has been significant progress in reusing and recycling waste tyres in the UK, there is still an over reliance on the export of used tyres to countries such as China, India and Pakistan, who are importing fewer tyres as they become self-sufficient.

'The UK needs a second disposal route for used tyres. Tarmac’s commitment to developing rubberised asphalt provides an excellent opportunity to achieve this and deliver environmental savings for this under-used waste stream.'

There are around 40 million waste tyres per year in the UK.

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Also Inside:

  • Buying better roads
  • Coming clean on carbon
View the latest issue


Highways jobs

Project Manager

£32,798 to £38,553
The post holder will be required to undertake all project management duties necessary to deliver those essential activities. Torfaen (Tor-faen)
Recruiter: Torfaen County Borough Council

Parking Team Leader

£28,226 - £29,174
We have an opportunity for a Parking Team Leader to join our team in West Cumbria. Cumbria
Recruiter: Cumbria County Council

Recycling Monitoring Officer

£27,009 - £31,155
Turn your environmental passion into practical action. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recruiter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Engineer (Highways)

£37,491 - £44,598
To provide operational delivery of a range of specialist professional and technical services for the Highways Group. Tower Hamlets, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Tower Hamlets London Borough Council

Senior Engineer (Assets and Design) – Assets

£36,371 - £38,553
We are seeking to recruit a Senior Engineer (Asset and Design) to join our Highway Asset and Design team. Aberaeron, Ceredigion (Sir Ceredigion)
Recruiter: Ceredigion County Council

Assistant Director of Highways and Engineering

to £85,239
Imagine a diverse town full of contrasts, a strong identity and residents who are proud to call it home. Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recruiter: Bolton Council

Assistant Engineer (Assets and Design)

£25,419 - £30,984
We are seeking to recruit an Assistant Engineer (Asset and Design) to join our Highway Asset and Design team. Aberaeron, Ceredigion (Sir Ceredigion)
Recruiter: Ceredigion County Council

Senior Engineer (Assets and Design) – Structures

£36,371 - £38,553
We are seeking to recruit a Chartered Structural Engineer to join our Highway Asset and Design team on a permanent, full-time basis. Aberaeron, Ceredigion (Sir Ceredigion)
Recruiter: Ceredigion County Council

Senior Engineer (Highways Development Control)

£36,371 - £38,553
We are looking to recruit a highly-motivated, creative and innovative and suitably qualified or experienced Senior Engineer. Aberaeron, Ceredigion (Sir Ceredigion)
Recruiter: Ceredigion County Council

Senior Engineer

£35,336 to £41,591
The successful applicant should hold a degree or equivalent in a technical/engineering subject and have 5 years’ experience. Newbury, Berkshire
Recruiter: West Berkshire Council

Transport Strategy Officers

£33702 - £35432 per annum + generous pension, agile working + more
The Transport Strategy team at Buckinghamshire council is recruiting to 4 exciting new roles, focusing on our priorities to encourage people to travel England, Buckinghamshire, Aylesbury
Recruiter: Buckinghamshire Council

Specialist Heavy Plant Operator

£22,571 - £24,920
This new opportunity/position is to work within both the Northumberland County Council SE Maintenance. Northumberland
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Network Coordination Assistant

£19,650 - £20,043
This is an exciting opportunity to work in the Network Management team within the Highways service. Barnsley, South Yorkshire
Recruiter: Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Development and Flood Risk Officer

£28,373
Essex is committed to enabling inclusive economic growth. Essex (Anywhere Worker)
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Waste Management Operative

£20,468
Leicestershire County Councils, Contracts and Haulage Team are looking to recruit a Waste Management Operator to join the team. Leicestershire
Recruiter: Leicestershire County Council

Waste Transfer Station Plant Operative

£20,807
An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Waste Management Delivery Service. Leicestershire
Recruiter: Leicestershire County Council

Contract Management Officer

£22,571 - £32,798
Cambridgeshire County Council is seeking to appoint a Contract Management Officer into the Highways Contracts and Commissioning Team. Various places - working out of office base
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Waste Management Supervisor

£24,283.58 - £26,812.09
The role will be responsible for supervising the Waste Transfer Station and Internal Haulage operation. Leicestershire
Recruiter: Leicestershire County Council

Project Engineer

£25,418 to £36,370
We are looking for Project Engineers to join our teams in Brompton-on-Swale, Richmond and Boroughbridge. Boroughbridge, York
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Project Engineer – Electrical

£33,486-£36,370
We are looking for a Project Engineer – Electrical to join our Electrical Engineering Team. Leeming Bar, Northallerton (Hybrid Working)
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Highways Presents

 

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Video