The need to be an environmental steward is critical, now more than ever. Bituminous Roadways, Inc. has a long history of caring for natural resources by recycling asphalt pavement. Since the early 1970’s, Bituminous Roadways has been incorporating recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) into newly produced asphalt mixtures. This sustainability practice has many economic, environmental and societal impacts.
Recycled Asphalt Pavement
The State of Minnesota was a lead state in the 1970’s implementing the recycling of asphalt pavement into newly produced asphalt mixtures. Recycled asphalt pavement has the same ingredients newly constructed pavements contain; coarse aggregate, fine aggregate, and asphalt cement.
Since 2001, Bituminous Roadways has recycled over 1.5 million tons of asphalt pavement. When we recycle old pavement, we reduce raw material costs, dependence on crude oil, carbon footprint, and we conserve our natural resources without sacrificing the quality of our finished product.
Bituminous Roadways has led the way in recycling asphalt roofing shingles in Minnesota for the past 15 years, processing and recycling more than 145,000 tons. Since 1996, it is estimated that we have produced over 2.9 million tons of asphalt mixtures containing roofing shingles. Roofing shingles are made of asphalt cement, mineral filler, and high quality aggregate. These materials are the same ingredients used in the production of asphalt mixtures making shingles an attractive additive that reduces raw material costs while providing a high quality product.
Green Pavement Solutions
- Asphalt in Your Community. More than 94 percent of the nation’s two million miles of streets and highways are paved with asphalt. That’s because asphalt pavements are smooth, cost-effective to construct and maintain, exceptionally durable, environmentally friendly, and 100 percent recyclable.
- Why is there an Asphalt Facility in My Community? Hot Mix Asphalt is usually mixed at temperatures between 300 and 325 degrees. And it has to be laid hot, no less than about 250 degrees. Getting HMA from the facility to the paving site is like delivering a pizza. The farther you have to carry it, the cooler it gets. If it gets too cool, it is no longer useful for paving.
- Are there Health Risk Concerns? If you visit an HMA facility, you’ll see that the people working wear typical construction clothes such as hard hats, gloves, and long-sleeved shirts. The greatest risk is from getting burned. What you won’t see is anybody wearing a respirator. There is no evidence that the very low levels of emissions from an HMA facility pose health risks to humans.
- Better for the Environment. More than 30 years ago, Hot Mix Asphalt facilities often generated noticeable levels of dust, smoke, odors, and noise. But two things have brought big changes. One was the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards, which went into effect in 1973. These required HMA producers to pass strict emission standards and install control systems to prevent the release of dust and smoke into the air. A facility must also meet stringent “visible emissions” tests in order to comply with regulations. EPA now acknowledges that HMA facilities are not a major source of emissions. An even stronger incentive for clean operation is economic. It’s in the owner’s best interest to make sure that all the equipment is operating at peak efficiency – which means producing very little in the way of emissions.
Hot Mix Asphalt producers want to be good neighbors. They strive to build clean, quiet facilities compatible with the rest of the neighborhood.