Citywide Asphalt Group: Taking the green path forward

Citywide Asphalt Group’s plant supervisors offer their first-hand view on how the sector has been changing. From left: Andrew Totino, Charbel Bou-Ghosn and James Tomeo.

Citywide Asphalt Group has been promoting wider use of high-recycled content asphalt across Victoria with its GreenPave product portfolio. The production team shares its views on how the industry is embracing sustainability.

Over the past five and a half years since the launch of Citywide Asphalt Group – a joint venture between Citywide Service Solutions and Fulton Hogan, the group has gone on to expand its portfolio of green asphalt products. 

Today, the company has one of the largest numbers of specialty asphalt mixes with high recycled content in its portfolio, which it manufactures from plants in Laverton and North Melbourne.

Citywide Asphalt Group’s GreenPave range comprises a number of sustainable asphalt products, featuring highly engineered binders, reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and asphalt made with locally sourced recycled glass, plastics, slag and rubber from used tyres.

Reflecting on the product expansion and the industry’s uptake of sustainable asphalt, Tim Ogun, Citywide Asphalt Group’s Operational Improvement and Business Development Manager, says there are positive signs the industry is embracing innovative asphalt mixes at a steadily growing pace.

On a recent project, the team supplied approximately 250 tonnes of GreenPave U, a dense-grade asphalt product with up to 55 per cent recycled content – the highest in the GreenPave range – to BA Road Services who were providing sustainable surfacing solutions to the Greater Shepparton Council.

“GreenPave U is one of the latest additions to our GreenPave range and it contains a large quantity of RAP, glass as a partial sand replacement, plastic additive in the form of processed consumer waste products and slag. The combination of these ingredients has proven to perform very well on busy roads, where the addition of slag contributes to skid resistance,” Ogun explains.

“Our GreenPave U product has been used by Greater Shepparton Council in creating a local streetscape which showcases products with higher-than-normal recycled contents in the urban environment. The product was placed by BA Road Services, an indigenous-owned business, under their contract with the Greater Shepparton Council. The project has been an important first step in using GreenPave U,” he adds.

The Greater Shepparton Council recently trialled Citywide Asphalt Group’s GreenPave U asphalt on a project carried out by BA Road Services.

In addition to using GreenPave U asphalt for the wearing course, the ‘Greener Roads’ project by the Greater Shepparton Council also used concrete with up to 40 per cent supplementary cementitious materials for the construction of kerbs, crossovers and drainage pits. The project, as Ogun notes, showcases how councils across Victoria are opening up to trial innovative asphalt mix designs.

“We are seeing more councils like the Greater Shepparton Council that are committed to trialling green asphalt products for their environmental benefits. In this case, the contractor BA Road Services was instrumental in introducing our product to their client, but the council was also keen to work with us on the logistical side so we could ship the product from Melbourne to Shepparton,” says Ogun. 

Ogun also sees change happening at the state government level.

“We’ve already seen VicRoads increase the mixes with recycled content that we can register. I think it’s a steady change in the sector and it’s being driven by companies like us, who are keen to push these innovative products to the market.”

Leading from the front

Apart from GreenPave U, Citywide Asphalt Group’s range currently includes GreenPave G, asphalt made with locally sourced glass blended with reclaimed asphalt; GreenPave PB, a blend of hard plastic into a specialised binder; GreenPave PA, made using plastic from post-consumer products and waste; GreenPave CR, utilising old tyres blended into a binder; and Greenpave HR, made with a higher than usual percentage of reclaimed asphalt.

Citywide Asphalt Group has also recently introduced GreenPave Cold, a cold mix asphalt with glass as a sand replacement that also incorporates canola oil sourced from local Victorian farms to replace diesel. Apart from being a safe and environmentally friendly solution, the mix offers extended shelf life and improved workability characteristics. With Citywide Asphalt Group a key supplier of cold mix asphalt in Melbourne’s metropolitan area, Ogun says the introduction of GreenPave Cold will have significant benefits for the industry.

So how does it feel to be on the innovative edge of producing sustainable asphalt products for the industry? Citywide Asphalt Group’s plant supervisors have first-hand experiences of how the sector has been changing.

Andrew Totino, who has been in the industry for over eight years, with the last two years as supervisor for Citywide Asphalt Group’s North Melbourne plant, says the size of projects where specialty mixes are adopted is increasing.

“The asphalt industry has always been trying to include recycled components in the mixes. Recycled asphalt is very common in the mixes and has percentages used as a standard, but we also have inclusions such as crumb rubber, plastic, glass, slag and high RAP,” he says. “The difference from when I first started to now is that initially the inclusions were only used for small projects, but now it’s widely asked for from clients and is often a requirement for a lot of the contracts.”

Charbel Bou-Ghosn, the supervisor of Citywide Asphalt Group’s Laverton plant, is another veteran of the industry. He has been supervising asphalt production for the past 15 years.  

“I have seen a lot of changes in recent years, especially with different types of recyclable products that come into use to reduce the impact on the environment,” he observes.

“Citywide’s mixes can be created with different types of recyclable products. We are trying to create more suitable solutions for our clients to help their efforts and grow our industry into using more and more recycled products, while maintaining strong, reliable products,” he adds.

James Tomeo, another member of the Citywide Asphalt Group team, sees positive improvements happening in the sector.

“In the short time I have been with Citywide, there has been some positive improvements with regards to supply to our ongoing clients. We have been able to provide clients with high quality PMB mixes, while continually trying to improve our safety in the workplace. A key factor to this is the company’s focus on continuous improvement and helping us as individuals to achieve our career goals and supplying us with efficient training.”

As for the broader industry, Ogun believes uptake for high recycled content asphalt mixes will increase in the coming years.

“The uptake has been slow, but steady. But I believe the pace of change will increase. It’s like when you go shopping and you tend to stick to what you know, but sometimes you try something new, and it wins you over. That’s where the sector is right now,” he says.

“We understand why some clients are hesitant, but our results and trials are there to prove the performance of our products. As the sector embraces the environmental benefits of innovative asphalt mixes, we want to be part of that process of change. We want to drive it forward.”

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