roads: rubberized asphalt paves the way to a greener future in
California recycles 75 percent of its waste
tires every year.
Tires that are no longer road worthy are a valuable resource
when recycled. In California, nearly 42 million waste tires were
generated last year, and most were converted into new, higher-value
products that help boost the state’s economy. Unfortunately,
the remaining 25 percent – about 11 million waste tires last
year alone – ended up in landfills or stored illegally. When
stacked side by side, that’s enough tires to stretch the length
of the West Coast from Mexico to Canada.
The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)
offers local governments grants and technical advice about how
to put recycled tires to use as cost-effective and green alternatives
to traditional paving and construction fill materials.
Rubberized asphalt concrete (RAC) consists of crumb rubber ground
from waste tires that is mixed with asphalt and other aggregate.
This mixture forms a durable alternative to traditional asphalt.
RAC requires fewer repairs than regular pavement, is skid resistant,
reduces noise, and is a green alternative because it uses 2,000
waste tires for every paved lane-mile.
Because rubberized pavement lasts longer, RAC roads also result
in fewer greenhouse gas emissions associated with repairs, and
less noise pollution due to long-lasting noise reduction properties.
“RAC is truly a green alternative that makes sense economically
and environmentally,” said Jerry Dankbar, street maintenance
superintendent. “Our community has benefitted from roads that
need fewer repairs, and are safer. The city of Roseville is pleased
our RAC roads reduce waste and save resources for future generations.”
Tire-Derived Aggregate (TDA) is another ecologically friendly
product made from shredded waste tires. It is used in a variety
of public works projects to replace naturally mined materials
TDA is cheaper and lighter than gravel, has superior drainage
properties, and reduces noise and vibration when used in light-rail
projects. Not only does using TDA reduce costs, it also keeps
thousands of waste tires out of landfills with every application.
When used in place of mined aggregates, it preserves natural
resources and landscapes. In addition, twice as much TDA can
be transported in a single truckload, when compared to gravel,
requiring fewer trucks, less fuel and lower emissions with every