Nova Scotia

Burnside parking lot partially paved with plastic

A parking lot in Burnside, N.S., was paved on Thursday with asphalt that included two tonnes of material made from plastic shopping bags.

2 tonnes of plastic was used to replace 25% of the bitumen the job normally requires

The decision to use plastics didn't change the cost of the paving project, says Dan Chassie. (Pam Berman/CBC)

A parking lot in Burnside, N.S., was paved on Thursday with asphalt that included two tonnes of material made from plastic shopping bags.

Dan Chassie, the president of Goodwood Plastic Products, said that's the equivalent of a week's worth of shopping bags used in Nova Scotia.

He owns the building on Simmonds Drive and wanted to pave the lot, so decided to turn the work into a demonstration of the material.

"We have a testing company here, doing the same tests they would do on the highway," said Chassie.

Chassie says he thinks the asphalt with plastic will be more flexible, which should result in less cracking during the freeze-thaw cycle. (CBC)

The two tonnes of plastic replaced 25 per cent of the bitumen normally used in the paving job. The bitumen helps bind the aggregates together.

Chassie said he thinks adding plastic bags to asphalt could also make roads less susceptible to the freeze-thaw cycle because they're more flexible than traditional asphalt.

"All you have to do is take a drive from here to Enfield to see the amount of asphalt peeling up from the highway to know that we need to find a better mix," said Chassie.

He said it cost more than $40,000 to pave the parking lot, so it wasn't any cheaper or more expensive than a traditional paving job.

The plastic replaces some of the bitumen used in the paving job. Bitumen helps bind the aggregates together. (CBC)

Goodwood Plastic Products has also been turning plastic shopping bags into plastic lumber that LakeCity Woodworkers has been using to make outdoor furniture such as benches and picnic tables. It's also working on using the material for posts and paving stones.

"Plastic is not the problem, people are the problem," said Chassie. "If we treat plastic as a resource, then more entrepreneurs will come along and build a business from using it."

Corrections

  • Dan Chassie is the owner of Goodwood Plastic Products. A previous edition of the story reported he is president of Halifax C&D Recycling.
    Jul 19, 2019 9:54 AM AT

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.