John Kypreos, director of State Asphalt Services in Australia, has joined efforts with Simply Cups, a recycling program, to create Closed Loop, an organization dedicated to the reduction of waste through innovative reuse of refuse materials.  On August 20th,  The Good News Newsletter from The Week recently released the following article outlining the goals of the project.

An Australian asphalt company is hoping that soon, it will be able to use discarded coffee cups to pave the country’s roads. To make this happen, State Asphalt Services in Sydney has teamed up with Simply Cups, a recycling program that helps turn paper and plastic cups into new products. The two entities were brought together by an organization called Closed Loop, which matches companies selling waste to companies that can turn that waste into fresh material. State Asphalt Services has taken the different elements of used coffee cups — paper, plastic, lids, and liners — and turned them into cellulose, which binds a road surface together. A test strip has proven to be strong and able to withstand heavy trucks driving back and forth on it. “It’s a better performance product than what we were producing before,” State Asphalt Services director John Kypreos told The Guardian. [The Guardian]

The Guardian also introduced this article that went into greater depth on the progress of this effort. In a secret location outside of Sydney, truckers have been driving repeatedly over a 50 meter stretch of roadway successfully paved using cellulose derived from upcycled materials originating in discarded coffee cups. After months of testing, the roadway shows performance levels comparable to/or exceeding those of traditionally produced roadways.

While the project stands on the verge of further testing, current testing results are proving the opportunity is viable. This project will create both opportunities to reduce waste sent to landfills as well as jobs for those that will facilitate the process of creating these materials.

“Closing the loop doesn’t just offer environmental benefits, there are huge economic benefits as well, according to Gayle Sloan, CEO of the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association Australia. Every 10,000 tonnes of waste that is recovered, reused, repurposed or recycled creates 9.2 jobs, compared with just 2.4 jobs if that material is sent to landfill or exported.

“We’ve got the chance to create four times as many jobs if we actually think about the materials that we consume and purchase, the supply chains, the collection, the reprocessing and the remanufacturing on shore,” Sloan says. Waste recovery and reuse offers the potential to be a major boost for the Australian manufacturing industry coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, if it’s done right.” Source: The Guardian

We applaud this innovative project and look forward to following their progress. Have you heard of other innovative solutions for roadway productions in process? Tell us about them in the comments!

Here at SriPath Technologies®, we produce asphalt rejuvenation products to help our clients pursue innovative asphalt solutions. We applaud the Closed Loop group for their creativity and wish them the best in accomplishing their goal of paving with recycled materials.