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Australian toner paving continues

February 26, 2016

The city of Canberra is now using recycled toner from recycled cartridges for road surfaces.

The toner asphalt being laid (Credit: Graham Tidy/Sydney Morning Herald)

The toner asphalt being laid (Credit: Graham Tidy/Sydney Morning Herald)

Sydney Morning Herald reported on Canberra’s trial of a new “asphalt mix” containing recycled printer toner powder on Kelleway Avenue, in Nicholls, as part of a plan to reduce the “carbon footprint” of the city. The “warm” mix includes around 30 percent recycled materials, while 0.5 percent was said to be toner powder, and the remainder is “old bitumen” milled and reused.

The company undertaking the trial, Downer EDI, is also the same company that undertook a similar trial in Sydney last year, and which also paved Lexmark’s headquarters’ car park in 2015. The company partners with Close the Loop to collect used cartridges for recycling, with the mix “40 degrees cooler than traditional hot road mix, meaning fewer emissions”. The toner mix is also “comparable in terms of cost and durability” to standard asphalt.

The product is called TonerPave, and since starting in 2012 has recycled around 20,000 tonnes of cartridge waste into its asphalt mixes. Downer EDI’s NSW/ACT General Manager, Gana Varendran, commented that “I always call it a win-win. There’s no cost differential. Geotechnically it’s the same performance, and you get the benefit of recycling. When you go to really high levels of recycled content there’ll be some [cost] savings potentially too.

“Every road is a quarry and it belongs to the ACT government and the community, so why not use this, why not treat it as quarry because you’re reusing road you’ve paid for”.

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