Going Green with Asphalt Recycling

Going Green with Asphalt Recycling

Going Green with Asphalt Recycling

With the media talking about global climate change every day, green construction and green building practices are in high demand. This demand is woven into every aspect of construction and building, including paving, landscaping, commercial construction, and residential building practices.

When people think about recycled materials, they usually think about glass, cardboard, or plastic. Surprisingly enough, asphalt paving is the most recycled material in the United States. Annually, we recycle around 80 million tons of asphalt pavement. Asphalt paving is environmentally friendly and is considered a green technology. It takes minimal additional effort to turn reclaimed asphalt back into the aggregate required for new asphalt installation without sacrificing the quality found in virgin asphalt.

Asphalt composition

Asphalt is a composite material composed of bitumen and mineral aggregate used commonly in various structures, including playgrounds, race tracks, airport runways, driveways, and roads. Asphalt has two primary ingredients. The first is a mixture of sand, gravel, and crushed stone called aggregate. This aggregate accounts for about 95% of hot mix asphalt. The other primary ingredient, bitumen, makes up the additional 5%. Bitumen is the dark ebony viscous material that bonds the aggregate and is made from polycyclic hydrocarbons, a byproduct of petroleum. Asphalt is among the most widely used paving materials available on the market. Different asphalt types can be used, depending on a project’s nature.

Asphalt types

There are various types of asphalt that are unique based on the process used to bind bitumen with aggregate.

  • Mastic asphalt- contains less bitumen than other asphalt types and is used most commonly for roofing, play courts, footpaths, and roads.
  • Warm mix asphalt- is produced in temperatures from 200 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Zeolites, waxes, and emulsions are added to the aggregates and binder. This asphalt does not offer the same durability as hot mix asphalt, but it is safer for workers and the environment.
  • Hot mix asphalt- is created under high heat for viscosity reduction. It is considered the most durable asphalt type and is the most commonly used asphalt in America.

No matter the type, all asphalt is recyclable.

Reasons to recycle asphalt

It is no secret that using previously recycled material helps us improve the environment. For example, asphalt is not bio-degradable and would take up massive amounts of space if disposed of in landfills. Recycling pavement allows us to preserve precious landfill space. It also lowers the consumption of resources like labor, transportation, machinery, and fuel compared to the production of virgin asphalt.

Recycled asphalt is more durable and robust than new pavement and saves American taxpayers billions of dollars every year. In addition, recycled asphalt is much less expensive to produce than virgin asphalt, making refurbishing damaged roads cheaper for taxpayers.

At M. Carroll Black Top Service, we value professionalism and environmental sustainability. Contact us today for more information on asphalt paving in Stockton, CA. We have the experience and expertise to get the job done right every time. Our family-owned and operated paving company has been in business for more than 45 years, placing us at the top of the paving industry in Texas and California.

To Top