In Sydney, The Streets Are Paved In Toner!


In Sydney, The Streets Are Paved In Toner!

Hit the road, jack! The g’day mates down under have found an innovative use for recycled toner, creating an asphalt additive and extends road life by 65% while reducing hazardous emissions by 40%!

Road Work Ahead

The fine folks at Australian recycling company Close The Loop have made a career from repurposing recycled materials, and the company’s TonerPave and TonerPlas products are changing the way roads and highways are built and repaired.

Paving The Way

TonerPave is made from toner powder, wax, minerals, pigments, iron oxide, silica, and sometimes waste acrylic paint. Experts claim it can extend road life by up to 65%, while reducing emissions by 40 percent compared to conventional asphalt.

The Process

  • Empty ink and toner cartridges are sorted and fed into recycling lines
  • Toner powder, plastics, and metals separated for reuse
  • Toner powder combined with bulk toner from multiple sources
  • Homogenize hundreds of different types of toner to minimise variability
  • Refine/purify toner and prepare for agglomeration
  • Mix toner with additives and pelletize. Finished product = MTP (modified toner polymer)
  • MTP shipped to asphalt plant in multiple locations
  • MTP added to asphalt
  • Asphalt is trucked to the site and loaded into paving machine.
  • Paver applies TonerPave to the road

Plastic Bags Fix Potholes!

TonerPlas is Close the Loop’s latest development of asphalt additives. Soft plastics are a perennial recycling problem, but the company has developed a unique method of combining soft plastic waste with recycled glass and recycled asphalt pavement. According to Close The Loop, every kilometer of road paved with plastic and glass modified asphalt uses approximately 530,000 plastic shopping bags, 168,000 glass bottles, and waste toner from 12,500 printer cartridges.

Attracted to TonerPave’s low carbon emissions The Syndey City Council approved trials using the toner based tarmac. If all works a promised, additional Sydney roadways will be resurfaced using Toner Pave.

Coming To America?

The key ingredient of TonerPave is MTP (Modified Toner Polymer), which has been developed over many years by Close the Loop and is a prime example of the company’s commitment to industrial ecology in action. Close the Loop USA has partnered with Toshiba, both in the United States and abroad, to spearhead a cartridge recycling effort.

We hope the company can bring these toner-paved roads to America! Studies done in the late 1990s using toner additives and asphalt showed mixed results, but the process developed by Close The Loop and the Downer Group shows improvement and promise. Genuine ink and toner cartridges deserve a noble final resting place! Get all your brand name printing supplies here!

Rob Errera

Rob Errera

Rob Errera is an award-winning journalist embedded in the world of printers and printing supplies. Rob has nearly two decades of experience writing about cutting edge technology, business trends, and the ever-evolving industry of printing.

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