Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Crown Cork Roadway

Tough, cheap, durable.
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Vast nummers of crown corks (pry-off bottle caps) are manufactured every year.

And then thrown away.

But when pounded into an asphalt surface, they are amazingly durable, surviving many years.

So, recycle used caps by devising a pick-and-place machine that trundles along a roadway, warming the surface and then embedding the corks at the best possible packing density.

Subsequent vehicle traffic will pound them in further.

The asphalt between the caps will become slightly lower, allowing for efficent drainage.

8th of 7, Aug 19 2010

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       We did an dirt garage floor this way one summer, but I don't know about braking traction on that painted smooth metal. Going to be noisy, as well. But you might be able to get free maintenance labor if you provide the raw material kit.
normzone, Aug 19 2010
  

       "vast numbers"? I don't know exactly how many are produced every day but I doubt that the number that can easily be recovered will even begin to pave anything. Why not start at the mouth of your driveway and imagine what it would be like if everyone else on your road did the same. Will you ever reach the other side of the road, will you reach your neighbors drive, how many years would it take to reach the intersection. Is alcohol having a negative impact on your life. May be time to consider some sort of treatment.
WcW, Aug 19 2010
  

       One major international producer manufactures 35 Billion crown corks per year - about 100 Million a day.   

       // May be time to consider some sort of treatment. //   

       Or buy it by the keg.
8th of 7, Aug 19 2010
  

       Homebrewing.
normzone, Aug 19 2010
  

       [WcW] //"vast numbers"?// No, //vast nummers// It's an idiom meaning "a few."   

       [8th_of_7] I see you your bottle-tops, and raise you a proposal to pave sidewalks with chewing gum.
mouseposture, Aug 19 2010
  

       total beer bottle production (glass) is around (+/-) 300 billion. my math puts that just shy of one lane for a mile of paving. Space them 1 inch apart and it's still less than four miles of single lane road. So only the wear zone? About five times that, but still less than 20 total miles of single lane road. A year. Given a ten year wear lifespan (generous) that means a world wide total coverage of less than 200 miles of bottle cap paved road total.
WcW, Aug 20 2010
  

       Back in middle school, my class once had an assignment to make reports on notable inventions. I searched and searched for a product that, while ubiquitous, was boring enough to be obscure. That was the crown cap.
DrWorm, Aug 20 2010
  

       I was impressed that something much like what is proposed here was actually taking place in Copenhagen. I googled for an image but no luck.   

       Durability is fine but one could make a chalk image or template on the pavement and then depict it with the caps: fewer caps needed, more art, more love. A bar could collect caps to this end and then have a yearly street party to make the images and get those last few hundred needed caps.
bungston, Aug 20 2010
  

       Good visualization, [WcW], and good math. Thanks.   

       I visited a gasoline station that had a dirt driveway pretty much paved with bottle caps. It was a little frightening, as both sides of the caps were up, at random.   

       I suggest putting the caps with the sharp metal fringe upward, then filling the cup of them with asphalt as you pave. You'd get better traction--the metal would wear smooth enough to grip without cutting.   

       Smooth side up might be a bit slippery, as has been said, and when the dome wears enough to peel off, there's going to be sharp little discs of metal flying around.   

       Or just dump them in with the gravel and see what happens.
baconbrain, Aug 20 2010
  
      
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