Greening up our roads - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Greening up our roads

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Arist de Wolff Arist de Wolff
Max de Wolff Max de Wolff

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - One local company's product is getting flattened in the quest for greener, recycled materials.

And this island business couldn't be happy about it.

Thousands of Hawaii drivers on the roads each day, add up to a lot of wear and tear on our streets.

Potholes pop up, and have to be constantly filled. And old roads need to be dug up and re-surfaced.

It all takes a lot of asphalt.

But now our streets may become a little greener.

"We're trying to innovate into a new direction , a green direction using a way to conserve our natural resources here," said Arist de Wolff, with Alakona Asphalt Paving Specialists.

Instead of sending old asphalt into the landfill, their new machine reuses it to make new asphalt.

And it goes about it in a greener, cooler way.

"This machine gives off no emissions. With regular asphalt you are heating the rock up to 350 degrees - that uses a lot of fuel," said de Wolff.

Known as Green Mix Hawaii, this recycled product can be made and stored for up to 30 days. Unlike hot asphalt that needs to be made and used right away.

"Its not going to look much different from regular base course, but you'll be able to smell a little of the asphalt and feel it," added Max de Wolff, with Alakona.

When the product comes out, you can hold it - its cool. And when it compacts, it turns into the standard asphalt type material.

This product, which costs less than regular asphalt, is used as a base layer for roads.

It has been used around the world for decades, but this technology is new in the islands. For Alakona, it is about time Hawaii paved the way to a greener tomorrow.

"For us we think it's a no brainer. Why wouldn't we use a quality product that's been tested and proven that saves the environment at the same time," said Arist.

Because Green Mix Hawaii recycles old asphalt from roads and parking lots, it can also help new projects qualify for LEED certification or innovation building credits.