Recycled asphalt in Midland County

The future of asphalt may be here – at least a trial run.

“I never in a million years dreamed that we would be able to do this,” Larkin Township Supervisor Maria Sandow said.

A few roadways in Lark Township have been getting a new blend of asphalt that mixes in recycled plastic.

“I think this is great because we will be able to have better paved roads that will last longer, better for taxpayer dollars and better for the environment,” Sandow said.

Sandow said the township partnered up with Dow, who came up with the modified product to enhance the paved roadways.

“They tell us it’s the equivalent of, for one mile of paving, about 117,000 plastic bags that won’t be wasted in a landfill or blowing around our country roads anymore,” said Terry Palmer, managing director of the Midland County Road Commission.

Palmer said he is thrilled about the asphalt. He said he is even more excited to be the first location to test out the new roadways.

“This is a big deal. What’s really cool is this is the first set of public roads in the United States to use this product,” Palmer said.

Palmer said this will just be a trial run to study the roadways, but the goal is to use the recycled asphalt going forward.

“It’s going to take time to do an evaluation, but my goal would be to use more of this product to pave more roads with it, do more recycling. So kind of the next step is to get the recycling centers to start collecting this product too, rather than have it all get thrown away,” Palmer said.

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