Tax breaks for rubber roads

Written by: Editorial Staff | Published:
Dr Davide Lo Presti of Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre

​Tax breaks and other government incentives could coax road builders into blending millions of tonnes of end-of-life tyres into their asphalt mixes for surfacing, an expert has suggested.

Dr Davide Lo Presti, from Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre (NTEC), said recycled tyre rubber could be used as an alternative material to build roads given its flexibility and resilience, drawing examples from rubber roads built in the USA, China and Malaysia.

He said: “Incorporating end-of-life tyres (ELTs) in asphalt not only makes the surface courses quieter and smoother, it creates a more flexible road with a longer lifespan.”

Despite the success of trials on rubberised asphalt, at present, there is little industrial development and use of recycled tyre rubber (RTR) in the UK.

Lo Presti argued that road and car sectors are reluctant to spend on recycling, new technology and training, with the cost of retrofitting asphalt plants estimated at £500,000.

He added: “The government could introduce laws to make manufacturers recycle more, but this is very difficult to do in the UK. It could also give incentives to those who recycle more.”

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