Recycling roads to drive down Hampshire’s carbon footprint

Hampshire Highways has teamed up with a company that recycles waste generated from planned roads maintenance work which saves time, money and helps to reduce Hampshire’s carbon footprint

Jan 9 2020

Recycled roads

Waste road material from maintenance work goes to a recycling facility at Northington, near Winchester that is operated by OCL Regeneration Ltd. Here, the  material from old roads is screened, crushed and blended with other materials so it is ready to be reused and laid cold.

Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: “We’ve made a commitment at Hampshire County Council to focus on the environmental impact of everything we do. This innovative approach brings back material taken up from roads during repair, processes it cleanly and quietly, and then sends it back out again, ready to be re-used elsewhere on the local road network. With around 5,500 miles of roads to maintain across Hampshire this will make a significant contribution to how we reduce our carbon footprint across the county.”

OCL Regeneration Ltd recycle 100 per cent of the material that comes to them and 94 per cent is reused on the roads. As the recycled material can be laid cold, it means specialist insulated lorries are not needed to collect and deliver the material. The cold recycled road surface uses a fifth of the energy of traditional materials and saves 40 per cent CO2 emissions.

Stuart Gready, Managing Director OCL Regeneration Ltd, said: “We call it the ‘closed loop concept’. Lorries bring the waste material in and are then reloaded with freshly recycled products which they take back to the sites across the local road network with a maximum fifteen minute turn around. Because the recycled road material can be laid cold, this in itself reduces waste as operators don’t have to throw away any unused cold material. Other benefits include lack of smell for local residents and road workers alike and the material doesn’t stick to tools or anything else.”

Hampshire County Council formally declared a Climate Change Emergency at its meeting in July 2019. It has recently signed up to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Emissions Reduction Pledge 2020 and is currently working on a proposed action plan for Climate Change.