How Arizona DOT turns old tires into asphalt

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The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has been using rubberized asphalt on state highways for more than a quarter of a century.

Related: Burn, Baby, Burn: Tire Inferno

The asphalt, made from the rubber from recycled tires, offers a smoother ride for motorists, compared to traditional asphalt, and it has a longer life and provides lower costs.

In a video released by the agency this month, Julie Kliewer, assistant state engineer for construction at ADOT, notes that the agency began using the rubberized asphalt because of its benefits.

“When we started using asphalt rubber — started using the crumb rubber from the tires — we didn’t do it so much to recycle tires,” Kliewer says. “The material is a better material because of it.”

Kliewer says a bonus to using tires to make asphalt is that the agency is “taking those tires out of the waste stream.” She notes that ADOT has recycled at least 15 million tires since it started using rubberized asphalt.

To see how ADOT recycles tires to make asphalt, watch the video below.

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