The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), along with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), has released a survey that indicates the asphalt pavement industry saved taxpayers more than $2.2 billion during the 2011 paving season through the use of recycled materials and warm-mix technologies.
The NAPA survey finds that about 66.7 million tons of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and 1.2 million tons of reclaimed asphalt shingles (RAS) were collected in the United States during 2011 for use in new pavement. Additionally, NAPA’s survey shows that about 19 percent of all asphalt produced in the United States in 2011 was made using warm-mix asphalt (WMA) technologies.
“Asphalt pavements are the sustainable option for paving our nations’ roads and highways,” says John Keating, NAPA 2013 chairman and president and COO East of Oldcastle Materials Inc. “With warm mix, we can use less energy to produce high-quality pavements, and RAP and RAS allow us to reuse liquid asphalt, saving costs and preserving natural resources. While use of these technologies has increased dramatically, there is room to do more, and the asphalt pavement industry is ready to reach even higher levels of sustainability in road construction.”
The survey also found the use of RAP and RAS in 2011 resulted in the saving of 21.2 million barrels of liquid asphalt binder, saving taxpayers around $2.2 billion. When reclaimed asphalt pavement and shingles are reprocessed into new pavement mixtures, the liquid asphalt binder in the recycled material is reactivated, reducing the need for virgin asphalt binder, which includes petroleum. Using reclaimed materials also reduces demands on aggregate resources. Warm-mix asphalt technologies allow asphalt pavement to be produced at lower temperatures, which reduces energy demands and lowers emissions generated during production and paving.
NAPA’s survey also shows that RAS usage is increasing. The 2011 use of 1.2 million tons of RAS represented an 8 percent increase over 2010 figures, and a 52.5 percent increase since 2009. Since 2009, RAS usage has been reported in 36 states. RAS is made from both manufacturers’ scrap shingles and post-consumer roofing shingles.
The NAPA survey was conducted in mid-2012. Replies from a total of 203 companies with 1,091 plants in 49 states and Puerto Rico, along with data from 32 State Asphalt Pavement Associations, were used to calculate industry estimates for total tonnage.
A copy of the full survey, including a state-by-state breakdown of the data, is available at www.asphaltpavement.org/recycling.