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Goodbye scrap tyre stockpile, hello sustainable roads!

The US Recycled Rubber Coalition released its policy primer on rubber-modified asphalt (RMA), an asphalt mixture that blends crumb rubber with traditional asphalt materials. The primer details material specifiations as well as benefits for road construction.  

At least 32 states and many other countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom already use or plan to use rubber-modified asphalt. US states may call on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which invests US$ 110 billion in surface transportation infrastructure, to create ‘long-lasting, sustainable infrastructure’, with cost savings over 40% compared to traditional asphalt. 

‘Rubber-modified asphalt is a win-win-win,’ says coalition spokesperson Stratton Kirton. ‘Local governments win by making taxpayer dollars go further, the environment wins by reducing emissions and keeping scrap tires out of landfills, and drivers win with smoother, quieter roads.’

‘States have the opportunity to make their infrastructure dollars go further by expanding the use of RMA while tackling other pressing challenges,’ Kirton notes. In addition to lifecycle cost savings, RMA reduces road-related CO2 emissions by over 30%, noise by 1-10 decibels, and enables better grip by decreasing road spray in inclement weather.

‘These benefits demonstrate the lifecycle impacts of the use of rubber-modified asphalt as a sustainable, innovative pavement material which serves motorists, neighborhoods, state departments of transportation, and the environment,’ according to the National Lieutenant Governors Association.

It argues that innovative uses of recycled rubber, like RMA, have made America a global leader in rubber recycling and secondary use while helping eliminate more than a billion scrap tyres stockpiled nation-wide. Today, nearly three-quarters of send-of-life tyres are either recycled or find a secondary use.

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