Did you know in the early 1990’s, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Highway Administration reported to congress that asphalt pavement was America’s number one recycled product?
Bituminous Roadways, Inc. (BR) did. Well before this report, since the early 1970’s actually, BR has been incorporating recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) into newly produced asphalt mixtures. This sustainability practice has many economic, environmental and societal impacts.
When an asphalt parking lot or roadway is scheduled to be rehabilitated, the pavement material is removed in chunks or ground up onsite using a milling machine. The RAP chunks and millings are then taken to the asphalt plant, crushed, and mixed with virgin materials to produce new asphalt mixtures. The result is an asphalt mix containing recycled pavement material, used to build new parking lots, roads and pathways.
Why is this important, you may ask? There are many benefits to recycling asphalt. Here are just a few:
Saving Tax Payers Money: By recycling asphalt pavement, it saves the American taxpayers more than $2.5 billion per year.
Freeing Up Landfill Space: When recycling asphalt pavement, the old asphalt materials are NOT getting thrown in landfills. It’s estimated that this process saves thousands of acre-feet of landfill space per year.
Conserving Natural Resources: During the recycling process, the original rocks, sand, and gravel from the recycled asphalt are also retained. Therefore, when producing new asphalt mix with recycled pavement materials, plants mine less aggregate material conserving natural resources.
Reducing Transportation Needs: Because there is less of a need to mine materials, there are less trucks on the road. Less trucks on the roads means a reduced opportunity for accidents, as well as a decreased need for fuel.
The need to be an environmental steward is critical, now more than ever. BR will continue to utilize the asphalt recycling process while reviewing other recycling strategies into the future.
Bituminous Roadways, Inc. (BR) strives to be the company of choice for asphalt pavement projects throughout the Twin Cities Metro area. For more than 70 years, BR has been an industry leader providing customers the best outcome for their pavement project needs. We are dedicated to quality, safety, continual improvement, environmental stewardship, innovation and most importantly, customer service.
Asphalt for Recycling and Energy Reduction. (n.d.) Retrieved April 19, 2017 from http://www.asphaltpavement.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=201&Itemid=495