If someone asked you what you thought the ‘most recycled material in the United States’ was, it’s fair to say that your answer would either be paper, aluminum, plastic, or glass… right? It’s also fair to say that asphalt pavement wouldn’t make it on the short-list of “most-recycled materials” that you’d come up with.
However, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Highway Administration identified asphalt pavement as America’s #1 recycled product, in a report to Congress.
Just Keeps Getting Greener
First introduced to the world in 1870, roads have had drastic improvements in sustainability since then. Researchers within the asphalt pavement industry have been continuously discovering ways to use asphalt products with more environmentally conscious methods. Roads, driveways, parking lots, railway tracks, airport runways, bicycle lanes, and sidewalks are all constructed with the most eco-friendly and sustainable paving solution on the market. When paving new asphalt surfaces or replacing existing ones, most of the asphalt make-up is that of recycled materials. Asphalt is a mixture of aggregates, binders, and fillers; and specific recycled waste materials can work for those purposes:
- Glass, pig manure, used rubber tires, slags, sand, and old roof shingles work as aggregates in asphalt pavement.
- Plastic waste and used motor oil work as the binders when constructing asphalt pavement.
- The need for natural resources is reduced tenfold by reusing torn-up asphalt.
- Worn asphalt cement is brought back to life just by heating it.
Setting New Records
The most recent industry survey conducted by the National Asphalt Pavement Association, in partnership with Federal Highway Administration, states that more than 100 million tons of reclaimed asphalt pavement was reused and collected in the U.S. in 2018 (2019’s survey isn’t published yet). Also, roughly 111.7 million tons of reclaimed asphalt pavement and reclaimed asphalt shingles were saved and stored for future use across the United States in 2018. Which means, approximately 61.4 million cubic yards of landfill space saved. The nationwide average amount of reclaimed asphalt pavement in 2018 was 21.1 percent, which is the highest ever reported. Since these surveys started in 2009, it’s consistently shown that 100% of reclaimed asphalt pavement is being put to the beneficial use of new and improved asphalt pavements, like roadways, parking lots, etc.
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Pavement Solutions, LLC understands the importance of paving the way for a more sustainable future. Which is why we recycle and reuse asphalt as much as we can, especially in Infrared Asphalt Repairs and Speed Bump Installation. We’re able to rejuvenate existing asphalt to create a safe, smooth, and brand new asphalt surface.
We offer commercial and residential concrete & asphalt paving, maintenance, and repair services in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. Check out our Service Areas to see if you’re in our territory! Request a free estimate or call us for one today.
Posted by C. Butler on 3/5/20