Reduce, reuse, resurfacing – at least, that’s what printing companies are doing with Australian roads. Toshiba said this week that it reached a record in 2017 for recycled toner products: 228 tonnes of waste toner. All of this is the result of a new environmentally friendly blend of asphalt, which contains recycled printer toner on Sydney’s roads.
A new blend of asphalt has been transformed into recycled printer toner being used on the highways of Sydney. The TonerPave was developed by Downer and the Melbourne-based company, Close the Loop, and is the result of a shared culture of innovation and a genuine desire to reduce companies’ carbon footprint.
The new technology uses a chemical blend that employs a recycling of printer toners (an item that replaces laser print cartridges) as well as CO2 production.
Besides being less polluting to the ozone layer, the method is as effective as traditional asphalt in eliminating holes and cracks in the pathways. Close Loop data indicates that, on average, 13% of the toner in each cartridge is wasted. They say that 100 toner cartridges can spread on a ton of asphalt and every ton of toner based product used in the asphalt mix replaces 600 kg of bitumen and 400 kg of fine aggregates such as sand and soil. the increase of stiffness in the pavement with the use of this material, also providing its duration and, consequently, a better cost-benefit.
Toner is blended with recycled oil and is 40% more energy efficient than the manufacture of standard bitumen, with a relative saving of 270 kg of CO2 emissions per ton.
Peter Tamblyn, marketing manager at Close the Loop, said “the rest of the world is looking at this.” All of the toner powder used in Australia could theoretically one day be used in the asphalt blend, Tamblyn said, but many people throw away the toner rather than recycle it. “If we could get our toner waste from Australia in our hands, we would be happy to use it,” he said.
At the current rate of data collection through Plant Ark, within the city limits of Sydney, 14,500 tons of Toner You can buy a year – enough to cover 120,000 square meters of road, double the needs of the area of the county.
Tamblyn said that the recycled toner from Close the Loop in the next 12 months will contribute to more than 100,000 tonnes of asphalt production. Australia used 750,000 tons of asphalt in 2014.
The new type of asphalt is already being applied by Downer, for the right of infrastructure of the airways in paving of streets and avenues. The material is not suitable for the special machinery for its application, since it can be applied with the same language used by the bitumen-based waterproofing used in the traditional method.
The company points out that these numbers could be much higher if the Australian population did the correct disposal of the material. Currently, most Australians throw the material in the trash, which causes Close the Loop to have limited access to the material that generates the raw material for the TonerPave.
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