One of the important facts about Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) is that it is 100% recyclable and can be used over and over again. It is the #1 recycled material in the USA!
In Virginia, most asphalt mixes specified for use on roadways allow up to 20% of the material to be recycled asphalt product (RAP). Base Mix asphalt material can have over 25% recycled asphalt pavement (RAP). The use of RAP in HMA provides a number of benefits:
- It reduces the amount of virgin material used in the mix, thereby preserving natural resources.
- Since it is 100% recyclable it does not need landfill space for disposal.
- Recycling HMA results in substantial savings to taxpayers (for road work) and other users.
- Asphalt pavement is unique not only in the volume recycled, but also its renewability. It is comprised of approximately 95 percent aggregates (stone, sand and gravel) and about 5 percent asphalt cement. When asphalt pavement is reused in a new asphalt mix, the old asphalt cement is rejuvenated so that it becomes an active part of the glue that holds the new pavement together, just like the old aggregate becomes part of the aggregate content of the new mix. These singular properties make asphalt a uniquely renewable pavement.
BLACK IS GREEN!! BEING GREEN/RECYCLING ASPHALT
Asphalt manufacturers have created ways to reduce their carbon footprint. One way is by recycling the asphalt. This is done by taking old asphalt pavement or shingles to an asphalt plant with the machinery that grinds up the asphalt into loose rocks. The Recycled Asphalt Product (RAP) can be used as gravel for driveways and/or subgrade. In the correct ratio RAP is best re-used in new asphalt, which is now used in VDOT approved highways. Now it is available at only the best asphalt plants.
Asphalt pavement is not only America’s most recycled and reused material; it now is being recycled and reused at a rate over 99 percent. Use of environmentally friendly warm-mix asphalt grew by more than 148 percent from 2009 to 2010, a trend that is expected to continue. Recycling of asphalt pavements and asphalt shingles in 2010 alone conserved 20.5 million barrels of asphalt binder. *
Here at Tom’s Paving, we work with local asphalt plants that offer recycled asphalt with the latest technology. We at Tom’s Paving are always looking for more ways to better the environment.
*National Asphalt Pavement Association, Recycling, www.asphaltpavement.org