Hampshire’s first recycling road materials operation officially opened
Hampshire County Council Cabinet Members, with responsibility for economy, transport and environment services, have formally opened Hampshire Highway’s new purpose-built recycling facility.
Located in Micheldever, the plant puts the County Council and its partners, at the forefront of sustainable highway construction, providing the means to reprocess and recycle material generated from road repairs, for re-use in road maintenance, leading to reduced carbon emissions, costs, and travel miles.
Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Executive Lead Member for Economy, Transport and the Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “This is a huge advance in how highway maintenance will be carried out across the county - one of the largest areas of work the County Council delivers for Hampshire residents and businesses.
“Bringing back in to use material taken up from Hampshire roads during repairs, processing it cleanly and quietly, and then re-using it elsewhere on the local road network is a fantastic step forward for us - both in maintaining the 5,500 miles of roads we’re responsible for across Hampshire, and in reducing our carbon footprint, helping us to achieve our climate change goals. I can also foresee the facility’s potential to enable and encourage more sustainable construction across the wider highway maintenance and civil engineering sectors.”
Significant CO2 reductions
Within 12 months, the Micheldever facility aims to deliver a net reduction in CO2 of around 67,500kg by reducing the use of virgin aggregates, replacing some warm and hot mix traditional asphalts with cold lay materials and reducing the total miles travelled for material supply. The new facility will also reduce waste construction costs by recycling tar bound material which would otherwise require specialist disposal.
The recycled material is laid cold which means specialist insulated lorries are not needed to collect and deliver the material, and there is no waste from unused material. The cold recycled road surface uses a fifth of the energy of traditional materials and saves 40 per cent of CO2 emissions.
It is anticipated that up to £320,000 per year could be saved for the County Council through the reduction in highway construction costs.
A recycled site with climate change features
The site itself has also been recycled, having previously been an asphalt plant up until the late 1990s. The depot has been refurbished and brought up to modern environmental standards. The latest technologically advanced plant and equipment has been brought in to produce the recycled products, and a significant amount of material that had previously been stored on the site, over time, has been recycled during construction of the new plant.
To meet Environment Agency (EA) requirements, a new sealed drainage system had to be built, capable of holding all the water for a one in 100-year storm event, with an additional 40 per cent capacity to cope with future climate change impacts. Additionally, because disposal of the water would be expensive and negate some of the CO2 savings, soakaways capable of discharging the huge volume of water to ground were required, but these will only be used if the water meets the rigorous EA standards and consent is granted.
The investment to bring the Micheldever site into operation has been through a partnership between Hampshire County Council, Milestone Infrastructure and OCL (a specialist recycling contractor).