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Published on : Sep 16, 2015

China has just finished the building of its first expressway made from construction waste. The 122 kilometer long road connects Xi’an – the capital city of Shaanxi Province in central China and Lintong.

Around 5.7 million tons of construction waste was utilized in the building of the road. This is the amount of debris that on common occasions needs around 200 hectares of land to bury. 

Xinhua, the state news agency, said that construction waste is more stable and stronger than traditional materials used to build roads.

However, using this material means more effort to extract and separate useful material such as bricks and steel bars amidst the general waste. In addition, this task of separating needs the development of special equipment. 

According to calculations, recycling construction waste instead of sending it to be buried as landfill has resulted in around US$ 47 million in savings for the project. 

The road will open in November and carry traffic at an upper speed limit of 120 kilometers per hour. 

This is the latest of schemes that spell innovation and have emerged from the road builders in China. This year, Tianjin and Beijing are both planning to set up charging posts meant for electric vehicles that will be installed in the region on four expressways. 

China is currently the first to build an expressway made of construction waste and this displays a new way of using materials that would otherwise be considered to be garbage. 

Local transport authorities said that the expressway, whose roadbed is mostly built from construction waste, will be thrown open to the public in northwest China’s province of Shaanxi.

By using recycled waste, the project has been able to avoid the burning of 32,000 tons of coal and the use of 3.4 million cubic meters of sand.