On the main road that links Olbia to the rest of the region, over 8,000 m/sq. of road have been resurfaced with asphalt modified with powder derived from recycled rubber from End-of-Life tyres (ELTs): a type of asphalt that lasts for longer, is more silent, and more resistant to cracks and potholes.

To date, in Italy there are already over 500 km/lane of roads made with asphalts modified with the addition of powder from recycled rubber.

At last, another piece of good news that demonstrates once more how important the collection and recovery of End-of-Life Tyres (ELTs) is for our Country’s sustainable development and for the protection of the Environment. Indeed, as it has already happened in several Italian cities, also in Olbia the Council Administration decided to rely on the innovative asphalts “modified” with the addition of powders of rubber recycled from ELTs for the resurfacing of Via Roma, one of the city’s busiest and most important roads.

A responsible and advantageous choice considering the exceptional properties of this technology: it has greater resistance to wear, cracks, and potholes. Moreover, its duration is up to 3 times the one of traditional asphalts, with a subsequent reduction of maintenance costs and a reduction of the noise generated by the passing vehicles up to 7 dB.  

The Council of Olbia has carried out this intervention thanks to the support and the effort of Ecopneus. Ecopneus is a non-profit organisation that manages the collection, transport, and treatment of over 200,000 tonnes of ELTs every year. The intervention has involved a stretch of road that is about 1 km long for an overall surface of 8,000 m/sq. It has used sound-proofing asphalts modified with the addition of about 8 tonnes of rubber powder recycled from End-of-Life Tyres supplied by Ecoservice of Sant’Antonio di Gallura (SS) – an Ecopneus partner company for the collection and the recycling of ELTs.

The General Manager of Ecopneus, Mr Giovanni Corbetta, stated: “Olbia’s intervention is the concrete testimony of the importance of a correct recovery and recycling of End-of-Life Tyres. Also Olbia’s citizens know this very well, as they had to live together with two deposits in abandoned industrial estates for years, where over 1,700 tonnes of ELTs were lying abandoned. These areas were emptied thanks to two of our projects – one in 2012 and one in 2018. Today, part of those ELTs have become a resource for this community in the shape of an innovative and sustainable asphalt with exceptional performances.”

Indeed, the use of recycled rubber powder allows to produce asphalts with excellent performances. The interest towards this application is constantly growing. To date, we have over 500 km of roads made with this technology in Italy. They last in time and are more resistant compared to traditional asphalt and, thanks to the specific optimised texture, they contribute to reduce the noise pollution created by the passing vehicles for up to 7dB. Moreover, they guarantee greater safety thanks to the lower presence of superficial damage and potholes and better water drainage. This allows also an increase in adherence and better visibility.

Thanks to the use of asphalts modified with powder from recycled rubber it is, thus, possible to better invest the resources available for road infrastructure, reducing users’ inconvenience and also the environmental impact of the activities of road construction and maintenance. All this contributes to the creation of a society based on recycling that may accelerate the Country’s steps towards the circular economy.