Paving the Way – Recycled Tyres for Reshaping Urban Infrastructure

Lead Organisation

Lake Macquarie City Council

Case Study Background

Whilst permeable pavements can help mitigate some of the environmental effects of urbanisation particularly stormwater runoff issues and the need to remove tree roots for paving projects, they are often made of virgin feedstocks. To address this Lake Macquarie City Council have trialled the inclusion of a permeable pavement product made with TDM, a crumbed material derived from recycled tyres, in their infrastructure projects.

The Vision

Lake Macquarie City Council’s revised tree replacement policy that requires a minimum of two trees to be planted for every one tree removed has driven innovation around construction of footpaths. Working collaboratively across a range of departments, the council were able to propose a trial of a TDM pavement product. This project aimed to not only preserve mature trees but also promote sustainability and resilience in urban development while fostering an adoption of recycled products in infrastructure.

Benefits and Results

The TDM footpath was trialled across 50 m2 of footpath in Glendale and Caves Beach where tree root systems would have impacted traditional concrete footpaths. Preserving mature trees retains canopy shade cover, reducing the urban heat effect.  In addition to preserving mature trees this trial diverted tyres from landfill and is estimated to have reduced the carbon footprint of the project by 5972kg CO2e.