How Recycled Glass is Transforming Victoria’s Roads

Ethan Robinson 17/05/2023 Recycling
buslane recycled road in victoria

In a significant stride toward sustainability and road safety, an innovative road treatment, made entirely in Australia, is being implemented in a road development project in Victoria. This project, the Fitzsimmons Lane Upgrade, is set to be a notable example of the environmental potential of road construction.

The upgrade involves the installation of nearly 3900 square meters of vibrantly coloured, recycled road material. This isn’t just any road material, though – it’s designed to increase the visibility of bus lanes at two newly constructed intersections. The aim is to improve safety and efficiency, making it easier for drivers to differentiate between regular traffic lanes and bus lanes.

The road surface material used is quite fascinating. It boasts a lively, speckled red colour and is produced from a unique mixture. About 75% of it consists of recycled glass aggregate, combined with a resin binder. This binder, interestingly enough, is primarily composed of recycled glass from industrial sources. To put the scale of recycling into perspective, consider this – over 23 tons of recycled glass went into the construction of this unique road surface for the project.

palmers road buslane

OmniGrip CST is Redefining Sustainability with Recycled Materials

This innovative road treatment is known as OmniGrip CST, a product of OmniGrip Direct, based in Thomastown, a town in close proximity to the project site. This treatment is not a new invention; in fact, the Victorian-developed product has been employed in a variety of areas for many years. These include bus lanes, bike lanes, pedestrian crossings, footpaths, and local traffic management plans. Its wide use demonstrates its adaptability and effectiveness in different contexts.

A significant advantage of OmniGrip CST is that it aligns with Victoria’s ‘Recycled First’ policy, given its highly recycled content. It’s a testament to the state’s commitment to sustainability and efficient use of resources.

However, it’s essential to clarify that paints and thermoplastics are not permitted as Coloured Surface Treatments in Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland. Therefore, these treatments should not be mistaken for paint and should be sourced from safety surface specialists like OmniGrip Direct, rather than traditional line marking companies. This distinction ensures the quality and safety of the road surfaces being installed.

One of the critical elements to note about the OmniGrip CST is that it meets the specifications set by the Department of Transport and Planning. This compliance ensures its durability and skid resistance in all weather conditions, providing a safer road surface for motorists. Furthermore, it’s also the first coloured surface treatment in Australia to receive TIPES certification. This certification, granted by the Australian Road Research Board on behalf of the Queensland Government, stands as a testament to the treatment’s quality and reliability.

Victoria’s Commitment to Using Recycled Materials in Road Projects

Major Road Projects Victoria (MRPV) and its construction partners, with the support of ecologiQ, are dedicated to making strides in environmental sustainability. They are committed to increasing the use of recycled materials in all significant road enhancements. This commitment aligns with the Victorian Government’s Recycled First Policy, which champions the maximum use of recycled and reused materials.

This policy, driven forward by ecologiQ, lays down the mandate for contractors on road and rail projects to optimise the use of recycled and reused content. It’s been a significant part of the Victorian Big Build projects since 2020, playing a pivotal role in reducing environmental impact.

Tony Aloisio, Director of ecologiQ, affirmed that promoting the use of recycled materials and fostering innovation is a top priority for the organisation. He said, “This is another example of how we’re integrating recycled content across Victoria transport infrastructure projects like the Fitzsimons Lane Upgrade, as we continue to make using green materials business-as-usual.”

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  • Ethan Robinson

    Ethan is a content editor with a background in environmental journalism. He’s an enthusiastic home cook and collector of vintage records.

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