We have begun trialling a new environmentally-friendly asphalt blend on city roads - using recycled printer toner.
The new asphalt mix uses old toner from discarded printer cartridges and is warmed at temperatures significantly lower than regular asphalt, meaning it takes less energy to produce.
The City's road contractor, Downer EDI developed the "TonerPave" technology in partnership with cartridge recycling company, Close the Loop. Close the Loop collects and recycles huge quantities of toner cartridges for large printer and copier companies. The cartridges are then shredded for recycling and the toner powder goes to Downer to be made into TonerPave at its Rosehill plant.
The recycled cartridges are saved from landfill. And the use of printer toner in the asphalt mix reduces the amount of bitumen, which is derived from crude oil.
We resurface around 50,000 square metres of asphalt road in the City every year. Using these new technologies and methods we can significantly reduce the amount of energy used in production. The finished product is just as strong as regular asphalt pavement and you won't notice a difference - but you will now be driving on roads made with recycled printer toner.
The City is trialling the product combined with other sustainable techniques to resurface sections of road across the city centre, Burton Street in Darlinghurst and Watkin and Church streets in the inner west.
If we're serious about tackling climate change we need to take action in our cities as this gives us the greatest opportunity for slashing carbon emissions. It's really great to see innovative ideas being used across our city to recycle waste into valuable resources.