Using recycled materials for pavements, earthworks and drainage

Using recovered concrete, brick and asphalt materials for the construction of pavements, earthworks and drainage has several advantages, including potential cost savings and conserving natural resources.

Recycled materials can perform as well as, and in some cases better than, virgin materials. They can bind together well to reduce potholes and scouring, and can also require less brooming to finish. The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued several resource recovery orders and exemptions to enable the lawful reuse of recycled materials.

Specification for supply of recycled materials for pavements, earthworks and drainage (PDF 556KB) is an industry-wide specification for the supply and use of recycled materials in local roads, pavements and civil works. It outlines a variety of uses for recycled aggregates including:

  • road base material suitable for a range of traffic conditions
  • select fill for improving sub-grade performance and also for raising site levels
  • bedding material suitable for use as a base layer for pavers
  • drainage medium for backfilling drainage structures.

The specifications include information for engineers, councils and contractors about the supply of high quality recycling materials, including legal requirements for the recovery and re-use of construction materials and guidelines for placement of materials to meet design performance standards.

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