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Source: Newsday

North Hempstead using plant-oil asphalt patch

BY CHRISTINA HERNANDEZ

Posted: March 21, 2009
Originally Published: March 20, 2009

North Hempstead Town has begun using an environmentally friendly asphalt patching material that replaces petroleum derivatives with plant oils.

The substance, GreenPatch, uses renewable solvents such as plant oils as softeners instead of the petroleum derivatives used in traditional asphalt, said Scott Herman, a sales associate with Cold Mix Manufacturing in Flushing. He said it is 100 percent biodegradable.

"It's a direct replacement for a conventional, toxic substance that had been used on New York's streets," he said.

GreenPatch, which has been on the market less than a year, is also being used in the Town of Oyster Bay and the City of Long Beach, Herman said.

North Hempstead Town spokesman Collin Nash said GreenPatch costs $120 per ton, about $10 less than traditional asphalt replacement. The town will use it to fill in potholes, he said.

"It's an environmentally friendly material, the use of which fits into the town's emphasis on keeping it green whenever we can," Nash said.

Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the nonprofit Citizens Campaign for the Environment, called the move "a great step in the right direction."

"Repairing the roads is a necessity," she said. "We should be doing it in an ecologically sustainable way."