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Chatham Street's Recycled Road
Chatham Street's Recycled Road
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Paving the way

What’s old is new again, with Australia’s first fully recycled road being laid in Adelaide city’s south west.

The new road laid on Chatham Street is made entirely from reclaimed asphalt pavement from nearby streets and recycled vegetable oil from local suppliers.

Not only is the new road better for the environment, it’s also 25 per cent stronger than standard asphalt resulting in a longer lasting road. The strong economic case for recycled roads has not gone unnoticed, with many councils across the country trialing new technologies. The City of Adelaide is the first to achieve a 100 per cent recycled road made completely from renewable materials after a push from Council in 2018.

Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor expects the success of this demonstration would pave the way for more recycled roads throughout the city.

 “It’s innovative, it’s cost-effective as it can be done at around the same cost as the standard process, and, as we’re recycling our own materials, it’s just great news for the environment,” said the Lord Mayor.

The road was delivered in partnership with Downer who process the asphalt at their plant in Wingfield. The processing involves state-of-the-art machinery and careful testing which equate to a more sustainable solution.

Downer’s General Manager – Pavements, Stuart Billing, said the recycled road can reduce CO2e emissions from production by up to 65 per cent compared to standard asphalt made with virgin materials.

Chatham Street isn’t a one-off exercise either, with other local streets also undergoing an eco-makeover. Little Sturt Street and Little Gilbert Street will be resurfaced with different mixes including 63,158 plastic bags, 2,353 glass bottles and toner from more than 2,880 cartridges, which were originally destined for landfill.

These demonstrations mark the start of an exciting exploration into better ways to utilise renewable materials, and to create a greener and more liveable city.

Read the City of Adelaide media release.

Georgie Smith

Georgie Smith


  • Wouldnt it be great if Council stuck to its core business and repaired the muktitude of trip hazards with boring old butumen, concrete and bricks? I could site 50 trip hazards in the SE cnr w/photos and addresses.

    • Hi Dennis
      This demonstration was on a road that was in need of repair. Repairs and maintenance will continue to be made on our roads and footpaths throughout the city using standard materials while recycled techonologies are simultaneously developed and used. Please notify us of any hazards by sending them through to the customer centre on or phoning (08) 8203 7203. Thanks

  • This is a fantastic idea!
    My only question is – why are we just starting now?
    Asphalt just seems to me like a really easy thing to recycle, it’ll melt on a hot day, ready to be reformed (often undesirably), whereas glass recycling must take a lot more energy than that, and has been I. Operation for decades and decades…
    What’s the deal?

    • Thankyou for your support of the idea. Asphalt recycling has also been happening for many years but it is only now that we have developed the technology required to produce a 100% recycled product. We have worked with our contracting partners to do this and will continue to trial new ways of doing things at the City of Adelaide!

  • Hello and this looks really good BUT can you make the print in normal black letters and NOT in the half tone black please?? I am vision impaired and rely on bolder text so I can read easily. Half tone colours are a real challenge too – I just cannot see the text in the colour and I suspect that there are many people with the same problem as myself. You might check this matter out with organisations like the Royal Society for the Blind. People like me with my low vision rely on contrast. I also suspect may older people will have much the same problem as me but please feel free to contact me

    • Hi Tom, thank you so much for taking the time to provide us with this valuable feedback. We have adjusted the font colour to full black as you suggested. Thank you again for helping improve Adelaide Living for everyone.

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