As time goes on and as our planet is drained of its various resources, it is imperative that all branches of industry look for ways to reduce, re-use, and recycle. The commercial paving industry is no different. That is why the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and Federal Highway Administration supports the use of reclaimed asphalt and the technologies associated with it.
Commercial paving contractors across the country also support RAP for the cost savings associated with this process. Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement is a process where the top layer of old blacktop is either milled off the surface or the entire asphalt is subject to excavation. The material is then hauled to a plant to be processed in an asphalt recycler that heats it up and breaks it down into smaller bits. Generally this recycled material is mixed with virgin asphalt that is then used to make new roads and parking lots.
Not only is this process good for the environment due to lower resource consumption, but it presents a rather significant cost savings over time to commercial paving contractors. By using recycled asphalt, less raw material needs to be mined and less oil is used by the commercial paving industry as a whole. As far as the cost savings are concerned, it can vary from location to location and is dependent on the overall tonnage being recycled and re-used. It is not out of the realm of possibility though that tens of thousands can easily be saved by utilizing recycled asphalt.
On top of the benefits of lower resource consumption and cost savings, commercial paving contractors that use RAP are keeping roughly 75 million tons of absolutely usable material out of landfills every year. That number should increase over time as more commercial paving contractors utilize reclaimed asphalt pavement on their job sites.