This year’s “Asphalt Pavement Industry Survey on Recycled Materials and Warm-Mix Asphalt Usage” shows that recycled materials is being used more in asphalt mixes, along with increased usage of warm-mix asphalt — trends that highlight increased sustainability in the asphalt paving industry.
The survey, conducted by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for the 2014 construction season, indicates recycled and reclaimed material use increased 6 percent compared to 2013.
Roughly 72 million tons of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and 1.9 million tons of reclaimed asphalt shingles (RAS) were used in the U.S. last year.
On top of that, 9 million tons of RAP were used for aggregate, cold mix and other road-building work, according to NAPA.
It all amounts to $2.8 billion in savings relative to virgin asphalt binder and aggregates being used.
“Asphalt pavements are inherently sustainable, because when we pave a road, we are putting in place material that can later be harvested for reuse in new pavements,” said Michael Cote, 2015 NAPA chairman and executive vice president and chief development officer for The Lane Construction Corp.
“No other material is recycled at a greater rate than asphalt pavements. Well over 99 percent of material removed during maintenance or repair activities ends up being put back to use in new pavements.”
Warm-mix asphalt production last year was up to 113.8 million tons, roughly one-third of all asphalt mixes, and a 577-percent increase since 2009.
“In 15 states, more than half of all asphalt pavement mixtures were produced as warm-mix asphalt, and in six of them, more than 75 percent was produced as warm mix. This is an incredible rate of adoption for a technology introduced just a decade ago,” said NAPA President Mike Acott. “We are already seeing construction and performance benefits, as well as energy savings, with warm-mix asphalt. We continue to focus research and engineering efforts on the use of recycled materials, warm mix, and other innovations to make our long-lasting, high performance asphalt pavements even more sustainable.”
The survey gathered dated from 228 companies with 1,185 plants in all 50 states, as well as information collected by the Asphalt Pavement Associations for 35 states. The full report is available at www.asphaltpavement.org/recycling.