Thousands of tonnes of textile waste that would normally go to landfill each year could soon be given new life in cement footpaths, driveways and roads.

A collaboration between IFM researchers, Geelong’s GT Recycling and textile company Godfrey Hirst has resulted in the development of technology for recycling polymer textiles. The fibres, made from recycled carpet, can be used as reinforcing in footpaths, gravel and road surfaces.

Adding less than four per cent of polymer fibres to cement paths resulted in fewer cracks, less rain damage, greater flexibility and improved durability.