Gary Oshima is Paving a Road to Recycling

“One word — plastics.”

In the movie The Graduate, the phrase was advice for the future — but now — all that plastic has to be dealt with. Richard and guest host Demi Muscio interview Gary Oshima who, as construction commodity manager at UCSD, created the first road made of recycled plastic in the United States. They discuss the plastic road and plastic recycling in general.

Gary first came across “plastic road” technology when he watched a TED Talk by Toby McCartney, CEO of the U.K.-based MacRebur. MacRebur has used its patented road-making process in the U.K. and Australia that takes plastic waste and mixes it into asphalt to replace petroleum-based bitumen as a binder. Gary contacted MacRebur, and in 2018, a 250-foot stretch of road near Regents Road and Miramar Street became the first roadway in the United States to be made of recycled plastic. The 250 section of road recycled the equivalent of 75,000 plastic bottles.

As construction commodity manager at UCSD, Gary is responsible for identifying and pursuing cost-saving opportunities in connection with UC San Diego’s construction and renovation projects; establishing and implementing collaborative strategies between IPPS, Facilities Design and Construction and Facilities Management; and exploring system-wide procurement opportunities in connection with construction, renovation, and maintenance.

To learn more about the plastic road and plastic recycling listen to the show (below).

Richard Muscio, Demi Muscio and Gary Oshima