City of Angels to trial plastic roads
The City of Los Angeles may be joining a growing number of cities around the world which are trialling recycled plastic as a way of paving its roads.
Technisoil, a company specialising in “Innovation for Modern Landscapes,” is currently in conversation with the city and it is anticipated that by the end of this year, "a portion of the street near the corner of West First Street and North Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles will become the test site for what may soon become the city’s new asphalt."
According to media reports, Technisoil "will transform shredded recycled plastic back into an oil, which will then become the binder in an otherwise traditional method of street pavement."
It is believed that the 'plastic asphalt' will reduce material costs by up to 25%, and increase durability - thus reducing maintenance costs over time.
“This is an exciting technology and a sustainable technology,” said Keith Mozee, assistant director at the Department of Street Services. “And it’s something that we believe going forward could be game-changing if we deploy on a large scale.”
Los Angeles is experiencing a waste crisis, with China no longer accepting waste from the city. This is coupled by the rejection of a law to partially phase out 'single-use' plastics in California. LA's landfill sites are already 'full to the brim' and this is one way in which the city's waste could be put to good use.
Once the trial has been completed, the city will be able to get a better view on the further applications for the product, depending on viable it proves to be.
The first application of plastic asphalt in the US was in San Diego on the University of California's campus in November last year. Los Angeles is, however, the first big city to use the application.