Reclaimed asphalt is defined as “the processed material in the form of milled or the ripped up slabs from existing bituminous road layers and the asphalt mixtures that can be used as aggregates for bituminous mixtures produced in hot recycling plant” (source: technical standard UNI EN 13108-8).
Milled asphalt is usually considered a special waste but, in many cases, it is a material that can be 100% recycled and used in new production processes. The very frequent question is: what are the advantages of recycling asphalt? What are the uses of this by-product?
The economic advantage is not the only reason why the recycling of this by-product is so significant, following are 6+1 benefits of RAP recycling!
1. It saves money. Using recycled asphalt means less money will be spent on new or “virgin” asphalt materials.
2. It is better for the environment. Increasing the use of recycled asphalt products (RAP) plays a key role in significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
3. It reduces other waste in landfills. The recycling process saves about 60 million cubic yards of landfill space per year, according to the NAPA Sustainability Report.
4. It conserves other natural resources. By using RAP, natural resources like stone, sand, and gravel, which are not renewable, can be preserved.
5. The durability and longevity of recycled asphalt materials increases. Recycled asphalt pavement has improved stiffness, which decreases the probability of any cracking. This means fewer repairs and maintenance on the asphalt in the future.
6. It has many uses beyond road paving. Recycled asphalt material is used for many other products beyond paved commercial infrastructure.
+1! The recycled version is just as good as the original. This is one instance where recycling doesn’t lose any quality.
The increasing attention to environmental protection must also encourage the road construction sector in the field use of sustainable materials and technologies.
In addition to being a practice of green and circular economy, RAP recycling is also cost-effective. Among the construction and demolition waste, RAP is the only one that is able to recover the binding power of the bitumen contained in the initial product as well as the aggregates. In addition to making this product 100% recyclable many times, this saves almost 50% of pavement maintenance costs thanks to the recovery of the bitumen.