The introduction of new or alternative (recycled wastes) materials in road construction may have benefits in terms of cost reductions, improved surfacing or pavement performance. However, it is essential to ensure that such innovations do not result in long-term negative impacts on the environment eg through the leaching of toxic chemicals into waterways.
The aim of this research, conducted in 2005–2006, was to develop guidelines to provide assistance to New Zealand roading authorities, roading contractors and suppliers when deciding whether to approve, or seek approval for, new or recycled materials for road construction. The guidelines do not consider environmental impacts, such as sediment runoff, which are associated specifically with construction activities. Guidelines for minimising environmental impacts during construction have been published previously and will also apply to construction activities using new or recycled materials.
Keywords: classification, ecotoxicity, environmental assessment, hazardous substances, leaching, legislation, road construction materials, recycling, regulations, testing, toxicity, water