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Collaborative Pilot Paves Roadway with Recycled Plastic

October 27, 2021 03:00 PM
By: Ashley Schoch

​This October PennDOT, DCNR, DEP, and DGS paved part of a Ridley Creek State Park roadway with an asphalt and recycled plastic mixture.

This pilot project, coordinated through PennDOT's Strategic Recycling Program which is funded through DEP, includes two quarter-mile roadway stretches surfaced with an asphalt/recycled plastic mix. The material is intended to strengthen the roadway surface without leaching plastic material into the surrounding environment.

"Transportation is integral in our communities and we are always evolving our operations," PennDOT Acting Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration Mike Keiser said. "We are very pleased when we can pursue innovations bringing benefits to the public, our transportation assets, and our environment."

The material being tested supports interagency goals to increase the commonwealth's sustainability in operations while supporting deployment in the state overall. Potential benefits include:

  • Extended useful life of asphalt pavements;
  • Diverting waste plastics from landfills and helping to establish a viable market for these plastics; and
  • Continued ability to reuse asphalt millings in future recycled-asphalt pavement applications.

The pilot project location was chosen in coordination through collaboration between all agencies and supports increased emphasis on sustainable practices.

It was incorporated into a 1.5-mile reconstruction project within the park from the entrance to Pavilion 14. The rest of the roadway will be paved with a standard asphalt mixture to provide a comparison for the new material over the five-year evaluation period.

Through the Pennsylvania Department of General Services, the GreenGov Council is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to ensure that state government agencies play a lead role in energy sustainability, conservation and greenhouse gas emissions reduction.

Among their goals are efforts to integrate sustainability and energy high-performance standards in building construction, lease, or renovation through the DGS Public Works deputate which is responsible for all state government non-highway construction projects.

Information about the state's infrastructure and results the department is delivering for Pennsylvanians can be found at

Find PennDOT's planned and active construction projects at 

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