Asphalt is all around us, with over 90 percent of roads being paved in asphalt, and it is used in roofing materials, as a sealer, and more. While there is a lot of asphalt used in our country, it is also the most recycled material in the US, and it follows the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle waste hierarchy. See all the ways asphalt pavement is recycled.
Asphalt Reuse and Recycling
Asphalt is used in many different products, so there are many different ways that it is reused and recycled. In asphalt roads, parking lots, and driveways, asphalt recycling is part of the life cycle of the pavement. First, the top layer of an asphalt road is taken up in a process known as milling. The asphalt that is pulled up is sent to an asphalt production plant, which is a facility where asphalt is made. The asphalt that was milled is screened, sized, and used at the plant instead of new materials to create new asphalt. In this process, the asphalt is reused.
Another option is pulverization. This is where the layers of old asphalt and base materials of a road, driveway, or parking lot are pulverized into smaller pieces and becomes the new sub base for a new road. In this process, the asphalt becomes something else—a sub base—and new asphalt layers are added on top to create a new surface.
Similarly, other asphalt products, like asphalt shingles, can be recycled and made into asphalt pavement, and vice versa.
The Reduce Component
All of this reusing and recycling of asphalt means that there is a reduced need for new materials. When recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) or recycled asphalt shingles (RAS) are available, then new materials do not need to be used.
Why Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Asphalt?
As a member of the asphalt industry for nearly 30 years in the concrete and asphalt paving construction sector, we at Tucker Paving can tell you that it is very satisfying to work with a material that is so sustainable. It feels good knowing that the asphalt we pull up when we resurface a road is going to be reused in another road, parking lot, or driveway. It also saves all the energy used to source, transport, and process new materials.
There are other benefits to using RAP as well. For one, it actually creates a stronger asphalt pavement than asphalt made with new materials in most cases.
Another benefit is that is saves money for everyone. New materials are expensive, and it costs a lot to transport them. Everyone from the paving company on the job to the client—whether that’s a company, homeowner, or the taxpayers—saves money when RAP is used on an asphalt paving job.
Tucker Paving takes pride in the work we do, and its impact on the environment. We complete projects for residential, commercial, and municipal clients. Contact us by calling (863) 299-2262, or fill out our contact form online, and let us assist you with your next concrete or asphalt paving project.