New future for spent asphalt

The Greener Centre
The Greener Centre

A recycling centre will slash the waste generated by road repairs.

The £250,000 asphalt recycling centre has been opened in Blunham.

The facility is on the back of a lorry trailer, although it will not be moved from its village base.

Timeworn asphalt is taken off the roads during road resurfacing and normally it then goes to landfill. But The Greener Centre will process the asphalt, converting it into a fresh version of the material by reigniting the active ingredient, bitumen.

At the moment the process is mainly being used for pavements and minor roads.

Nick Antrobus, managing director of Greener Surfacing, which runs centre, said: “When road resurfacing work is carried out old asphalt tends to be disposed of in local landfill sites with large sums then being spent on fresh virgin asphalt.

“The old asphalt can now been recycled and reused at a much reduced price, saving public money, landfill issues and costs and helping councils meet their carbon reduction targets.”

Greener Surfacing secured more than £160,000 for the machinery from asset finance specialist, Academy Leasing.

Nick added: “Academy saw our vision immediately and backed it. Their support was key to the centre’s development, along with the commitment to asphalt recycling from Bedford Borough Council and highways infrastructure specialists Amey.”

Nick believes the business will grow because it is so carbon efficient. The materials can be taken from an old road or pavement in the area and, after going through the recycling process, be sent to cover a surface just a few miles away.

This reduces the amount of carbon generated during transport as well as reducing the need for new asphalt.

Nick said: “We are selling our material to contractors around Bedfordshire and we are very excited about the future.

“This is a new venture with relatively recent technology. The customers are amenable to the idea of recycling asphalt.

“It’s actually remarkably simple and that makes it achievable.”

Greener Surfacing is now looking to extend its recycling services to contractors in Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire before expanding nationally.