China has completed its first expressway built from waste, a 122km road running between Lintong and Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province in central China (pictured).
Some 5.7 million tonnes of construction waste was used to build the road, an amount of debris that usually requires 200ha of land to bury.
According to state news agency Xinhua, construction waste is stronger and more stable than traditional road building materials.
However, it requires more effort to separate and extract useful materials such as steel bars and bricks from the general waste, and special equipment has to be developed to carry out that task.
It has been calculated that recycling the waste rather than sending it to landfill saved the project about $47m.
The road, which will carry traffic at a maximum speed of 120km/h, will open in November.
The scheme is the latest in a number of innovations to emerge from China’s roadbuilders.
Beijing and Tianjin are this year planning to install charging posts for electric vehicles on four expressways in the region.
And a road in the mountainous Hubei province that opened last month was build down the centre of a river.
Photograph: The City of Xi’an, the provincial capital of Shaanxi (Wikimedia Commons)