As the UK focuses on meeting its sustainability goals, county councils up and down the country are creating local climate change strategies, committing to reduce carbon, ensuring that they continue to deliver services whilst making sure that the environment, infrastructure and local communities are prepared too. In one such example, OCL Regeneration, Hampshire County Council, and Milestone Infrastructure are investing in a new purpose-built recycling centre in Micheldever for Hampshire Highways' road materials.
The newly launched plant allows Hampshire Highways to reprocess and recycle material generated from road repairs for re-use in road maintenance, leading to reduced carbon emissions, costs, and travel miles. And, in its first year, the facility intends to deliver a series of impressive net reductions.
Most of the reductions will arise from two techniques. Firstly, recycling tar-bound material on-site is historically a specialist disposal that can also be very costly. Secondly, by reducing the use of virgin aggregates and replacing some warm and hot mix traditional asphalts with cold lay materials, Hampshire County Council is targeting a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions and an 80% reduction in energy compared to the use of traditional materials.
“At OCL our philosophy is to reduce carbon footprint and whole life costs wherever possible. The Micheldever facility is a great example of how we operate and is a testament to what can be done when there is a commitment and strong stakeholder support to sustainability and recycling materials,” said Stuart Gready, Managing Director, OCL Regeneration. “I wholeheartedly believe that the work with Hampshire County Council and Milestone Infrastructure is going to quickly yield results that will be held up as a model for how local authorities and private asset owners should look to dispose of waste, reduce carbon output and promote recycling of materials.”
When councils are being tasked to do more with less, it's also anticipated that up to £320,000 per year could be saved for the County Council through the reduction in highway construction costs.
"This is a huge advance in how highway maintenance is going to be carried out across the county. It's one of the largest areas of work the County Council delivers for Hampshire residents and businesses," said Cllr Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Executive Lead Member for Economy, Transport and the Environment.
"Bringing back in to use material taken up from Hampshire roads during repairs, processing it cleanly and quietly, and then re-using it elsewhere on the local road network is a fantastic step forward for us. Not least in terms of maintaining the 5,500 miles of roads and footways we're responsible for across Hampshire, but also reducing our carbon footprint which will help us to achieve our climate change goals," he concluded.