MTOP launches project to pave streets with recycled waste

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Uruguay's public works and transport ministry (MTOP) has launched a pilot project to pave streets with recycled waste, local paper El País reported.

The experiment with recycled material is being carried out along Victoria street, in Carrasco district, where three stretches of 200m each will be paved with different materials. One stretch will be paved with regular asphalt, a second section will be paved with a type of asphalt based on polymers and the third stretch will use a material made with recycled rubber from old tires, the report said.

If the pilot project is successful, MTOP could start using recycled waste - such as rubber - to manufacture productive materials at a relatively low cost. This would improve infrastructure development and reduce pollution at the same time, a MTOP official told BNamericas.

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The initiative would also help authorities cushion the volatile cost of asphalt caused by fluctuating oil prices, the official added.

The material was obtained from rubber tires donated by local tire firm Funsa.

The rubber-based asphalt has already been tried in other countries, where it has proven to be more durable, resistant and adherent than normal asphalt, the paper said.

At the same time, Uruguayan authorities have been working to install recycling centers to help informal waste collectors and provide employment to small communities which have been specially trained in waste handling, the official said.