GDOT goes green with recycled tires in asphalt

GDOT goes green with recycled tires in asphalt

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ATLANTA -

The Department of Transportation is going green!  They're working to recycle millions of pounds of scrap tires to make a newer, safer, and cheaper asphalt for highways.  

Supporters call the efforts a win-win-win: a win for the state with cheaper, better roads, a win for the environment with the recycling of more scrap tires; and a win for you in the form of safer roads to drive on.  Crumb rubber is also less noisy to drive on, and experts say it's best for use on highways, interstates, and highly-traveled roads.

Last year, the state of Georgia amended road construction rules to include recycled tire rubber as an alternative to higher-cost, oil-based production.  Chairman Randy Nix, who authored the bill, says it's less expensive because the price of using polymer from the rubber is less than the price of petroleum.  

And as it turns out, GDOT says they're discovering along the way that the change gives them better roads.  Experts say it also absorbs better, and cuts down significantly on the amount of water that sprays up when it rains.  

The change means countless scrap tires have a home.  A mile of crumb rubber asphalt pavement takes 2,000 tires out of the landfill, so it's got a big green effect, too.  GDOT believes it's the future, and there will be many more tires going into asphalt in the future.  

Contractors say because of the change, they can now bid projects out further down the road and not wait to see what the price of oil will be.  GDOT is expected to use millions of pounds of the recycled rubber for paving projects this year alone.

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