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'First ever' chip fat road laid in Bedfordshire

Bedfordshire has laid the first ever road surface using waste chip fat in place of conventional bitumen.

Befordshire Highways with Central Bedfordshire Council, infrastructure engineering firm Amey and construction firm Aggregate Industries have teamed up to pilot the use of waste fat in resurfacing roads.

It is hoped the fat can replace the use of bitumen, which is used in the road laying process, as an emulsion and acts as a glue-like substance, sticking the aggregates together. The alternative method uses less energy in the heating and storing process and reduces the amount of oil going to landfill.

Central Bedfordshire Council assistant portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities Cllr Budge Wells said: Central Bedfordshire Council is so proud to be supporting this new and innovative technique. As a forward thinking council we are keen to test drive new ideas and using chip fat, to keep our roads together is a firm example of this.

Aggregate Industries research manager Helen Bailey, who is also studying for a PhD in engineering, came up with the idea. She said: Bitumen is currently essential to making asphalt, but it is costly and uses up valuable crude oil supplies. My new method meets all UK standards, but is much better for the environment. I was delighted to find that the waste fat produced by cooking one of the nations favourite dishes can be used to hold together our roads!

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