Environmental pathways

The report highlights the environmental regulatory pathways, potential barriers to use, and compliance and mitigation measures for the use of recycled materials. These aspects are further reviewed through direct consultation with key stakeholders, in which key insights into what must be amended to promote recycled materials in road pavements are provided. Consultation with industry stakeholders included the Environment Protection Authority, Downer, Resource Co., and Tyrecycle. 

Based on stakeholder consultations with councils and industry, the challenges for SA councils that could hinder the uptake of recycled materials in local roads are summarised in the below table.

Issue  Barrier  Impact  Control action 
Increased capital cost  Often not considered when developing budgets for the upcoming financial year  Recyclables are often not considered for use because of their increased cost. Understanding the impact of recycled materials on the lifespan of assets. 
Preparing budgets to account for the change in unit rates. 
Performance evidence   Given the scrutiny on councils to succeed and not waste public funds, many councils are waiting for others to fully test new products  Low confidence in using recycled materials   Development of guidelines, standards, and implementation frameworks.  
Recyclability   Are these products recyclable in the same way that ‘standard’ asphalt is? Are we just turning our roads into a linear dump?  Uncertainty among road managers and low confidence could result in reduced uptake of recycled materials and lead to incorrect decisions Further research is to be undertaken to ensure the recyclability of new products 
OHS and environmental implications  Perceived impact of harmful fumes during production and implementation 
A better understanding of past research into fumes 
Perceived impact of microparticles entering the environment 
Products not being considered at the design stage  Pavement designs do not include recycled materials because of limited availability on data Reliance on relationships with existing contracted asphalt producers as to the roll-out of recycled materials  Development of design criteria for specific recycled material containing asphalt mixes 
Material quality and specifications  There are limited specifications detailing recycled materials’ quality requirements  Lack of quality specifications limits the potential for further product development and adoption. Consumers will be hesitant without quality standards and guarantees.  Existing specifications to be better understood by road agencies, and gaps to be filled by new specifications