Turning old tyres

old tyres

into new roads

into new roads

Rubber modified asphalt

Rubber modified asphalts incorporate recycled tyres combined with Tarmac’s ULTILOW warm mix asphalt technology to provide an environmentally sustainable asphalt with a reduced carbon footprint.

Building our future.

Size of the problem


Around 40 million waste tyres are generated every year in the UK. Waste tyres are shredded and granulated to produce materials that can be used in sports pitches and safety surfaces under playground equipment.

Waste tyres are also used as a fuel for cement kilns and on a small scale for engineering and agricultural applications. Despite these alternative uses, around one in four of these waste tyres are still exported, mainly to Asia.

waste tyres

every year

1 in 4

waste tyres
are exported

Closing the loop on tyre recycling

Tarmac’s rubber modified asphalts enable old tyres to be  converted into new roads and footpaths. As a result, they help to offset the environmental impact of highways maintenance activities and send out a strong local sustainability message.

Rubber modified asphalts incorporate the rubber from one tyre per tonne of asphalt, giving the potential to recycle about 500 tyres per kilometre of road, depending on layer thickness.  Reinforcing steel from truck tyres is also recycled to make new steel. Fibres and fine dust from the recycling process, which have no alternative uses, are used as a fuel in Tarmac’s cement kilns.



waste tyres

= 1km of highway




in CO2



in the UK


Warm mix
Learn more >

Warm mix technology

Tarmac rubber modified asphalts incorporate proven ULTILOW warm mix asphalt technology as standard.

Long term development

Tarmac has been exploring the use of tyre rubber in asphalt since 2011 with a focus on using tyres that are recycled in the UK.

Experience in
the USA

In North America ground tyre rubber has been used in asphalt for many years, either pre-blended into the bitumen or added directly at the asphalt mixing plant.

Successful UK trials

The Tarmac rubber modified SMA is a direct alternative to 50 pen SMA and delivers the same performance and  surface characteristics in terms of regularity and texture.


Advocacy and industry response


Tarmac’s rubber modified asphalts have already been welcomed by highways
professionals and representatives of the UK recycling industry:

"Coventry City Council is delighted with the rubberised asphalt trial; we hope we can use more of the product across the city in the future to help divert waste tyres from landfill and incineration to reduce the carbon footprint for road construction projects in Coventry. We are proud to be leading with our partner Tarmac in providing road surfaces which are providing significant environmental benefits for our communities."

Rob Little - Senior Engineer
Highways Technical, Coventry City Council

"Highways England is committed to investing in innovation to help us meet the economic, environmental and efficiency challenges we face in our changing world and also to delivering environment improvements as we strive to ensure our road network works more harmoniously with its surroundings. The economic and environmental benefits of this new asphalt could be very significant and we are delighted to be working with Tarmac to trial this new product"

Martin Bolt - Corporate Group Leader
Operations Directorate (Midlands), Highways England

"While there has been significant progress in reusing and recycling waste tyres in the UK, there is still an over reliance on the export of used tyres to countries such as China, India and Pakistan, who are importing fewer tyres as they become self-sufficient. The UK needs a second disposal route for used tyres. Tarmac’s commitment to developing rubberised asphalt provides an excellent opportunity to achieve this and deliver environmental savings for this under-used waste stream."

Peter Taylor OBE - Secretary General
of the Tyre Recovery Association

Find out more


For more details on this exciting new technology and to arrange a presentation or training session for your local authority contact:

Technical data available on request

Region Name Phone Number
North Michelle Baldwin 0748 314 3672
Midlands Lora Hull 0748 404 4678
Midlands Andrew Hodgkinson 0748 333 7888
South West/South Wales Malcolm Page
0774 063 3542
South East Roger Eke
0748 334 0655