Ferrara is more and more the forerunner in the environmental sustainability policies. In fact, thanks to the municipal administration commitment and to the awareness campaign promoted by Ecopneus, it was decided to use an asphalt containing End-of-Life Tyres recycled rubber on the occasion of the refurbishment of an important road section in via Pomposa.

The intervention is part of both the GPP policies put in place by the Ferrara Municipality – the “green purchases” to be made by the public administrations – and the scope of the “LOWaste” project, co-financed by the European Community as part of the programme Life+, and promoted by the Ferrara Municipality, togethr with Hera, La Città Verde, Impronta Etica, and RREUSE, to reduce the local production of wastes through the development of a recycled products market, such as End-of-Life Tyres rubber.

Ferrara and ELT: from the Diamantina deposit to high performances asphalt

Protagonists of this virtuous experience are those tyres at the end of their lives that for years represented the concern of citizens throughout the entire Ferrara territory, when abandoned in via Ca Rosa, in the industrial area of Diamantina: 8,000 ELT tons abandoned for years due to the bankruptcy of the company in charge of their recovery. The situation was unblocked thanks to intervention of Ecopneus, a non-profit limited company for End-of-Life Tyres management that, besides the management of the operative activities of collection and treatment, strongly promotes the wider development possible of the market of products containing ELT recycled rubber.

From End-of-Life Tyres is in fact possible to obtain rubber granules and powder to be used in many application of public utility, such as sports, asphalts, urban furniture, buildings, and many other sectors. From today, thanks to the sustainability policies started time ago by the Municipality, all Ferrara’s citizens will be able to test in person the advantages of asphalts made with ELT rubber enriched bitumen, such as the reduction of trafic noise having, at the same time, a more durable, safe, and comfortable road surface.

Via Pomposa, the road under refurbishment, is a strategic arterial road for the city of Ferrara, even more after the Hospital was moved to the near Cona city; the refurbishment involved about 10 km of road, of which only one segment was covered with modified bitumen. The municipal Administration intends to invest more in this application should the results in terms of performance and duration be in line with what expected and already widely confirmed by scientific literature.

ELT rubber asphalts characteristics

The road section of via Pomposa is a road where a lot of trafic is concentrated, with heavy vehicles as well, but at the same time is located in a city area where residential areas are immersed in vegetation and are planned according to sustainable criteria. Also for this reason the choice of the materials to be used fell on a type of asphalt containing bitumen to which End-of-Life Tyres recycled rubber powder was added.

This kind of asphals allow a significant reduction of trafic noise, besides offering better guarantees as far as the vehicle adhesion, braking space, and aquaplaning are concerned, thanks to the higher tyre’s adherence to the road. The rubber, in fact, gives higher elasticity to the surface allowing a higher resistance to deformations due to vehicle transit and to seasonal damages, such as cracks, fissures, and potholes.

The use of rubber powder modified asphalts in Italy consolidated over time. Today, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Piemonte, Trentino Alto Adige are the regions where the most important experiences had been made. Every year in our Country about 35 million tyres reach the end of their lives, that would allow the fruition of over 8,300 km of modified asphalts, virtuous, reliable, and safe from an economic point of view.