HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — A new pilot program in Pennsylvania will work to use an asphalt/recycled plastic mix in an attempt to strengthen the roadway surface while helping to keep waste plastic out of landfills.
The project, coordinated through PennDOT’s Strategic Recycling Program which is funded through DEP, includes two quarter-mile roadway stretches surfaced with an asphalt/recycled-plastic mix. The material is intended to strengthen the roadway surface without leaching plastic material into the surrounding environment.
“Transportation is integral in our communities and we are always evolving our operations,” PennDOT Acting Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration Mike Keiser said. “We are very pleased when we can pursue innovations bringing benefits to the public, our transportation assets, and our environment.”
The material being tested supports interagency goals to increase the commonwealth’s sustainability in operations while supporting deployment in the state overall. Potential benefits include:
- Extended useful life of asphalt pavements;
- Diverting waste plastics from landfills and helping to establish a viable market for these plastics; and
- Continued ability to reuse asphalt millings in future recycled-asphalt pavement applications.
“DEP is proud to support this project in partnership with PennDOT through the Strategic Recycling Program,” said Pat Patterson, DEP Southeast Regional Director. “Recycling is a fundamental environmental principle and DEP supports any effort that diverts waste from landfills.”
The pilot project to pave part of a Ridley Creek State Park roadway in southwestern Pennsylvania with the asphalt and recycled plastic mixture.
This new paving will be incorporated into a 1.5-mile reconstruction project within the park from the entrance to Pavilion 14. The rest of the roadway is being paved with a standard asphalt mixture to provide a comparison for the new material over the five-year evaluation period.