City of Parramatta Council in Australia has commenced trials of two sustainable road solutions in an effort to reduce waste materials and combat extreme heat.

The first trial was conducted at Chelmsford Avenue, Epping and Honor Street, Ermington where the roads were resurfaced with an asphalt product called Reconophalt.

Manufactured by Downer, Reconophalt uses recycled soft plastics from plastic bags and packaging, waste glass and waste toner from used printer cartridges.

The recycled product uses about 500,000 plastic bags, 165,000 glass bottles, and 12,500 toner cartridges to lay 1km of two-lane road. This significantly reduces problems related to waste disposal.

City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Bob Dwyer said: “Single-use plastics and other materials are a growing problem for our environment.

“By taking tonnes of plastic and glass from local recycling plants and using it to create roads, we are able to turn trash into treasured infrastructure.”

Partial funds for the project were provided by the New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s ‘Waste Less, Recycle More’ initiative. The initiative is funded by the waste levy.

The second trial will study the use of lighter coloured roads to reduce the amount of heat absorbed and retained by roads on hot days.

This trial is being conducted in partnership with Blacktown and Campbelltown councils and Western Sydney University.

In this study, roads are coated with a new, light grey coloured, seal coat called GuardTop CoolSeal. Developed by SuperSealing, the innovative coating is expected to be cooler than traditional asphalt by 5ºC-14ºC on a hot day.

Some of the roads coated include Renoir Street, Old Toongabbie; Roslyn Avenue, Northmead; Corry Court and carpark, North Parramatta; and part of Binalong Park car park, Old Toongabbie.

Applied over asphalt surfaced roads, this product also protects and maintains the quality and longevity of the surface.

Researchers will collect and analyse data taken from the trial sites, before determining the impact of the product.

SuperSealing CEO Ben Reiter said: “Most cities need some sort of relief from the heat island effect.

“CoolSeal is a practical way to address this, and it’s great that SuperSealing can partner with Parramatta, Blacktown and Campbelltown councils to use innovation to help improve their communities.”