The Environmental Benefits of Recycled Asphalt in Paving

Asphalt is non-biodegradable, which means it will never break down. It’s also a resource that isn’t renewable, making it essential to conserve its supply.

Using recycled asphalt in your construction project is a great way to do that! 

Saves Money

When a homeowner or construction team uses recycled asphalt, it saves money because they aren’t spending as much on new or “virgin” materials. 

Recycling pavement is simple and effective, and it doesn’t compromise the quality of the product. Some experts believe refurbished asphalt is better than the original material, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

When paving contractors use RAP, they also reduce their carbon footprint. Creating virgin asphalt produces many greenhouse gases, so incorporating RAP into the mix decreases that impact. It also conserves valuable nonrenewable resources such as oil.

Environmentally Friendly

Asphalt is non-biodegradable, and virgin asphalt products are created using valuable, nonrenewable resources like oil. Using recycled asphalt helps to decrease a paving contractor’s carbon footprint and protects our precious planet.

Old or broken asphalt is removed from a paved surface and sent to recycling plants or facilities, where it is ground into smaller aggregate sizes. The material is then heated to melt the bitumen, making it reusable and usable in asphalt mixtures.

Using RAP, asphalt paving near me reduces the need to use new base materials, which cuts costs and allows them to stay under budget and finish a project on time and within a client’s specifications. The process is also environmentally friendly as it reduces waste and conserves natural resources.

Reduces Waste

Using recycled asphalt is one of the most environmentally conscious choices that you can make when it comes to commercial paving. It prevents asphalt millings from ending up in landfills and conserves natural resources like stone, sand, and gravel that aren’t renewable.

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Using RAP also helps reduce energy demands and costs by reducing the need for quarrying new aggregate materials. Additionally, recycled asphalt requires less fuel to transport to the construction site.

All materials can create a quality mix, including chunks, millings, plant tailings, and small amounts of rock, dirt, or sand. These additions help the mixture be more robust and durable and perform better in maintenance activities. Additionally, they reduce rut depth and improve skid resistance.

Saves Energy

Asphalt is known for its durability and strength, but did you know it’s also America’s most recycled product? When a pavement project ends, the broken or cracked pieces are typically excavated and sent to recycling plants.

These facilities crush the materials into smaller, more manageable sizes and combine them with other materials to create a new, firm asphalt mixture. Materials like tire rubber, slags from blast furnaces, foundry sand, glass, and even pig manure are routinely incorporated into the mix, conserving other natural resources and landfill space.

The resulting mix is then used for paving projects, reducing the need for new, non-recycled asphalt requiring oil extraction. This energy-saving method helps contractors stay within budget and reduces their environmental impact.

Reduces Carbon Footprint

Using recycled asphalt significantly reduces the carbon footprint associated with traditional asphalt production. This is because it eliminates the need to use raw materials such as oil, coal, and natural gas to create new asphalt.

In addition to reducing greenhouse emissions, using recycled asphalt can also help reduce waste materials and energy consumption, which is good for the environment. It can also help businesses meet sustainability goals and promote their green initiatives to environmentally conscious customers.

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A variety of materials and technologies have been used to produce low-carbon asphalt. These include RAP, crumb rubber, biochar, recycled aggregates, and alternative mixing techniques such as warm mix asphalt, which lowers manufacturing temperatures and energy requirements. However, a lack of standardized rules and procedures may impede the broader adoption of these approaches.