The Netherlands Recycles Toilet Paper to Pave Bike Paths

January 3, 2018 by Shanna Edberg

The Dutch province of Friesland is innovating by recycling toilet paper and using it to enhance the safety of asphalt, which is used to pave bicycle paths. Normally, toilet paper is filtered out at wastewater treatment plants and then incinerated, which releases CO2 and destroys the resources contained in the toilet paper. Instead, this project extracts and sanitizes the cellulose from the used toilet paper and adds it to asphalt mixtures to help prevent roads from getting too slippery. The asphalt made from this method looks, feels, and acts just like regular asphalt, and can be touched and used just as normal asphalt is.

Climate Protection: Reduces CO2 emissions from wastewater treatment Energy & Mobility: Increases access to human-powered, low-energy transportation Jobs & Assets: Lowers the cost of treating wastewater and obtaining cellulose Health, Well-Being, & Safety: Improves the safety of pavement Connection: Increases awareness of the circular economy and potential for recycling waste

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