Crumb Rubber Trial

Recycling Old Tyres into a Road in St Marys

The City of Mitcham is trialling an innovative new road surface, crumb rubber asphalt, in Stanlake Avenue, St Marys to improve the quality and life of the road as well as recycling used tyres. 

Mitcham Council, with support from Tyre Stewardship Australia, recently laid a 335 metre stretch of road with crumb rubber asphalt in Stanlake Avenue, St Marys. While this trial is the first for South Australia, crumb rubber asphalt has been used extensively in the USA and South Africa. 

Crumb rubber asphalt incorporates ground up rubber tyres that would otherwise go to landfill. These used rubber tyres are ground down and mixed into the binder of the asphalt road seal. Crumb rubber asphalt is special in that it replaces some of the bitumen binder with used waste rubber tyres, reducing the amount of fossil fuels derived product required while providing an environmental and waste management benefit. 

The trial asphalt recently used to resurface Stanlake Avenue recycled 850 used tyres or the equivalent of tyres from three cars for each house on Stanlake Avenue. 

Council is trialling the crumb rubber asphalt as it offers significant environmental benefits as well as the opportunity to improve the quality and life of road pavements, particularly in areas of reactive clay soils. 

The performance of the trial road surface will be monitored over the next two years, with testing for cracking, rutting, moisture retention and general durability with the aim of using this asphalt across the City. Other testing will include heat mapping to determine if the surface holds more or less heat than conventional asphalt, stormwater run-off quality and sound absorption. 

This innovative road surface is anticipated to last longer, be stronger and more durable while also offering environmental benefits and the potential to lower maintenance costs as it will have less rutting and cracking.