Sustainability has been part of the roadbuilding conversation for decades. Yet improvements that make the methods and machines more environmentally friendly continue to gain momentum.
Industry leaders increasingly see green practices as not only a way to better the world, but a tactic to improve profitability.
We should not categorize RAP as waste material. It is a perfectly fine substitute for virgin materials. The aggregates in reclaimed asphalt show little aging and are mechanically and geometrically within the quality ranges of new material.
Bitumen holds up well, too. Its aging is limited and can be compensated by using small amounts of new bitumen. When utilizing RAP, you’re saving on both aggregate and bitumen costs – while reducing emissions, initially and over the lifetime of a road.
Our technology allows the use of RAP percentages up to 50%. In reality, the percentage is usually much less based on the amount of RAP that is available and the recipes defined by the authorities.
Are countries increasingly adopting recycling, or have we hit a bit of a plateau? And what about the earlier adopters – are they taking further strides or are they content to recycle at existing levels?
Many countries that did not initially adopt recycling are now moving ahead rather quickly. China is an example of this.
The earlier adopters are now recycling even more. That can result from governments lifting restrictions, but increasingly it’s because the asphalt producers see the value of RAP.
Whatever the motivations, the global community is benefitting. From an environmental perspective, all parties involved should increase their efforts to expand the percentage of RAP being used for new pavements.