You may have noticed this in one of the more recent blogs, but here at Sunrise Asphalt we have been discussing just how green asphalt is. Not the color green, silly, but the sustainability of asphalt use and production. Following up on that post, we thought that maybe folks would be interested in just what recycled asphalt can be used for? To that end we bring you this blog!
Very briefly, how asphalt is recycled. The asphalt is tore up from its placement and loaded as large chunks then taken to a plant that processes these larger chunks into more manageable aggregate quality. Essentially it grinds down that pieces into smaller ones, screens the new reclaimed aggregate, and it is then blended back in with the necessary binding materials to become usable, paving asphalt, or left as milling for another purpose.
The big use of recycled asphalt is in paving, go figure. With over 90% of the roadways in the US being made up of asphalt, this means there are plenty of sources for this asphalt, and also a huge market for recycled asphalt pavement. For every road that has aged past the point of simple patching, there is now a stretch of used asphalt ready for recycling. The road can then be repaved with virgin asphalt (if the owner or builder prefers that dark black coloration) or refilled in with the recycled material. Individuals or businesses can also use it to pave private drive-ways.
It works the exact same and has a number of pros.
Pros to Recycled Asphalt
• Environmentally Conscious
o Seeing as there are so many roadways out there covered in asphalt, to reuse the material on its last legs rather than brewing up a fresh batch cuts down on the energy being consumed in the making of it. As well, asphalt is unfortunately not biodegradable and any material that gets dumped will be doing so forever.
o When it comes to paving projects, using recycled asphalt is cheaper than using virgin asphalt. Asphalt is made up largely of oil and with those prices fluctuating the difference between recycled and new asphalt can be staggering.
There are a couple of negatives as well and it wouldn’t be fair to not include them. Mostly it is the appearance. Virgin asphalt has that dark black coloring that looks smooth and sleek while recycled asphalt having already been exposed to the sun has the more familiar grey of most roads.
Recycled asphalt can also be manufactured into millings, a gravel-like material that provides plenty of benefits such as a lower cost, lack of maintenance required, and its adaptability to inclement weather.
Asphalt is one of the most recycled materials on the planet and as we continue use, recycle, and reuse it in various ways we are doing our part to reduce the environmental strain on the planet. If you have a paving project, contact us and together we will make it happen!