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Why Barter Street in Gympie's CBD is rubbish

One of Gympie’s oldest residential streets is rubbish, thanks to a new form of environmentally friendly and sustainable asphalt made from recycled plastics, rubber and glass.  

According to Deputy Mayor Bob Leitch, Barter Street in Gympie’s CBD, is the first road in the region to have been laid using the recycled road surface.  

“This is a step in the right direction for our region,” Cr Leitch said.  

“Our impact on the environment is always at the forefront of Council’s mind and by utilising this recycled road surface, we are making sure our environmental responsibility is fulfilled. 

“The materials this road surface is made from, such as printer toner cartridges and tyre rubber, would have otherwise ended up in landfill,” Cr Leitch said.   

Unlike traditional road surfaces, the recycled asphalt is held together with a modified binder made from crumb rubber, soft plastics, old printer cartridges and glass.   

A kilometre of road can contain up to 500,000 plastic bags and packaging equivalents, 165,000 glass bottle equivalents and toner from 12,000 printer cartridges.  

The recycled asphalt is also more cost effective. For example, with Barter Street, quotes to use the modified product came in $40,000 cheaper than traditional asphalt products. Furthermore, the recycled material has been rigorously tested and proven to provide superior properties than the traditional material typically used for these works.

“While Council have a responsibility to the environment, we also have a responsibility to our residents,” Cr Leitch said. 

“If we can use a product that is cheaper, environmentally friendly and of the same if not higher quality than traditional products, we need to make serious efforts to do so. 

“My understanding is council staff are making plans to use this material on industrial roads around our region in the near future,” Cr Leitch said.  

The Barter Street project also included footpath and residential driveway works, as well as the planting of new trees.  

The total project budget was $438,000 with the Australian Government contributing $81,802 from the Roads to Recovery fund.   

Mayor's Column - Wednesday, 20th November 2019 Mayor's Column - Wednesday, 20th November 2019

There is one thing that never surprises me and that is the strength and resilience of our community in times of natural disaster and crisis.  

This was highlighted again recently when we saw many in our community carry out their voluntary roles fighting fires in the Kandanga and Widgee/Kilkivan areas.  

These community members; dedicated Rural Fire Brigades, our State Emergency Service members, our urban firefighting personnel together with QPWS members worked long and arduous hours in bringing those fires under control. And we as a community must extend our thanks to them.  

As most of us saw via media reports from across both Qld and NSW, these people perform their roles in very trying circumstances and conditions which, in a heartbeat, can turn into very real life threatening situations. 

Thanks must also go to those behind the scenes who provided meals and refreshments when the front line personal where able to take a break from the tasks being performed.

As well as those employers who supported our community by giving our volunteers time off work to undertake those vital roles. 

From me personally and on behalf of Gympie Regional Council and the wider community, thank you. 

Having said this, we are by no means through the challenging weather conditions we are currently experiencing. 

I would ask the wider community to remain ‘aware but not alarmed’ to our present fire risks. 

Have your emergency plan prepared should you and your family need to act, and keep an eye out for your neighbours, especially if they may be elderly.    

Mayor Mick Curran 

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