Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Recycled freeway walls a world-first for Victoria

In a world first, noise walls along the Mordialloc Freeway will be made from 75% recycled plastic collected from households across the state, as part of a drive to build Australia’s greenest freeway.

The 32,000 square metres of noise walls required for the project will be made from more than 570 tonnes of plastic waste – half of which is plastic disposed in kerbside recycling such as milk and soft drink bottles.

The other half of the recycled content will be made up of soft plastics such as bread bags, food wrappers and bubble wrap, which are notoriously difficult to recycle and usually end up in landfill.

“Every time motorists travel along the new Mordialloc Freeway, they will be able to see tangible evidence of how we are making greener choices and reducing waste in transport infrastructure construction,” said Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Ben Carroll.

He said the amount of recycled content going into the noise wall panels was the equivalent of 30 million water bottles, or the plastic waste collected from 25,000 Victorian homes in one year.

The noise walls have been made in Carrum Downs by PACT Group, helping them retain local jobs.

“We only have finite resources and projects like these keep waste out of landfill while giving old material a new life,” said Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio.

“It also creates crucial jobs for Victorians.”

At less than half the weight of steel or concrete panels, the recycled plastic noise wall panels are quicker and safer to install while still meeting or exceeding traffic noise reduction requirements. The recycled plastic panels are also non-porous, meaning paint and graffiti can’t be absorbed into them.

The Mordialloc Freeway is due to be complete by the end of 2021.

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