Around 120,000 glass jars and more than 200 tonnes of reclaimed asphalt were used to refresh a one kilometre stretch of Clarence Street in Sydney.
This means nearly a quarter of materials used to renew more than 8,000 square metres of road surface is recycled. The City of Sydney resurfaces around 35,000 square metres of road each year.
Since July 2021, the City of Sydney has used around 1.5 million recycled glass jars and more than 6,000 tonnes of reclaimed asphalt in its road renewal program.
Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore AO said: “What was once considered waste is now being seen as a resource. This shift away from linear thinking is vitally important to tackling climate change and improving circular economy outcomes.
“Some glass bottles and jars can’t be recycled to become another glass container. Despite the best efforts of people putting them in the yellow lid bin, they end up in landfill.
“But by using them in our roads we create this new market which has the added benefit of using less sand, which is one of the most overly consumed natural resources on our planet,” said Moore.
The product used on Clarence Street is densely graded asphalt and meets standards set by Transport for NSW for heavy duty traffic operations.
While 20 per cent of the asphalt is reclaimed from roads that have reached the end of their lives, using this quantity of recycled goods is proven to have no impact on the quality of surface.
“Clarence Street’s renewal is a fantastic sustainability outcome. When we use this mix it saves money, is better for the environment and reduces what ends up in landfill,” said Moore.
As part of its commitment to create more circular economy streams and reduce waste that ends in landfill, the City of Sydney has also used other materials like crumbed rubber, printer toner and soft plastics in asphalt mixes in road resurfacing.
The City of Sydney is one of 16 Sydney councils to sign up to ‘Paving the Way’, a joint initiative led by the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils aiming to use 100 million glass containers a year in the renewal of local roads.