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LA Wants to Pave Its Roads with Recycled Plastic
All those bottles we drink from and bags we use, andthen throw away could soon become LA’s city streets. A company by the name of TechniSoil is working with the city of Los Angeles to test a new method for paving streets using recycled plastics as a binding agent. The first project site will be located on First Street at Grand Avenue downtown later this year.
“According to Keith Mozee, assistant director at the Department of Street Services, the plastic asphalt is made by converting pellets of plastic into an oil that is mixed in with materials during the normal paving process. Aside from cutting down on production emissions, material costs, and time (the roads can be car-ready in as little as 12 hours), Mozee says tests have found plastic streets to be six to seven times stronger than those made with traditional asphalt.
“We’re looking at a potential 25 percent reduction in our production cost,” says Mozee. “And if it is successful, it will cut down on our maintenance costs as well, because we’ll have to go back fewer times to pave the street.” (LA Mag)
Since China stopped accepting foreign recycling waste, LA has begun to face a growing waste issue with several recycling sites shutting down last year. If successful, this could be a great way to make use of the tons of plastic waste lying around. Some are concerned however, that as the roads deteriorate, the plastics may once again find their way into the environment, causing ecological damage.
Hopefully the people behind project have or will consider this possibility as they begin to implement the technology on LA’s streets.