Post Updated: 5/20/2020
Recycled Asphalt vs. Newly Mined Asphalt
It's not the most commonly talked about topic among social circles, but the mining process used to create new (virgin) asphalt materials is not an environmentally friendly one. Asphalt mining of this virgin aggregate is destructive to the land/area utilized for mining purposes, and the process also requires a lot of water. Not to mention, once the aggregate material is used and discarded, it takes up a vast amount of space in landfills...and it is NOT biodegradable. That's right! The material does NOT biodegrade (at all). That's why it's important to limit how much this mining process is done, when possible.
The solution? Yes, it's asphalt recycling! Recycling these used aggregates makes a massive difference for the environment. Not only was it discovered that recycled asphalt can be mixed with newly mined asphalt to make an even stronger material, but it means less virgin asphalt needs to be mined! This recycling process frees up space at landfills, requires less water, and the environmental footprint is much friendlier (compared to the mining process).
Beyond the mining, asphalt recycling also saves in transportation costs. You see, transporting newly mined asphalt requires a lot of gasoline and shipping costs, as this process is typically done in far away locations. Because used asphalt rubble/debris can be recycled at nearby sites, this greatly reduces the transportation expenses and decreases air pollution.
The Expense of Recycled Asphalt
Clearly there are plenty of environmental reasons when considering using recycled asphalt for your project, but did you know that recycled asphalt is actually cheaper than newly mined asphalt? Because the recycling process is far less expensive to complete, you don't pay for the extra expense it requires to mine new asphalt materials!
Not to mention, when natural petroleum prices go up, the price of asphalt goes up with it. Luckily, the recycling process results in lower manufacturing costs.
The Asphalt Recycling Process
The asphalt rubble/debris that is disposed of at Colorado Aggregate Recycling (like at many recycling facilities) is usually crushed down into desired specifications with crushing equipment, screened for any impurities/hazardous materials (ex: steel, wire mesh, or rebar) to ensure cleanliness, and is re-processed for future use in road projects, construction jobs, and even in home gardening and landscaping projects.
Fun fact, there are also portable crushing options, in which recycling can also be done at a designated site. We provide the same service in Colorado with Portable Crushing Services. So, used asphalt can be recycled for reuse without the hastle of transporting the material!
How Recycled Asphalt is Used
While asphalt paving (like in roads and parking lots) is the most common way recycled asphalt is used, today, there are other uses for this recycled aggregate, including:
- Roofing/roof shingles (shingles made of asphalt bitumen, tar, and aggregate)
- Sealing the exterior of structures/buildings
- Residential driveways
- Landscaping (like retaining walls)
Ready to Use Recycled Asphalt?
Are you a new believer in the benefits behind recycled asphalt? Ready to use our recycled aggregates in your next project? Check out our regularly stocked products HERE.
Check Out These Resources
Interested in learning more about recycled asphalt? Check out these great resources: