Survey Finds Significant Savings with Recycled Asphalt

Survey Finds Significant Savings with Recycled Asphalt

NAPA and FHWA survey covers sustainable construction in the asphalt pavement industry.

June 20, 2013
CDR Staff

The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have released a survey of sustainable construction practices in the asphalt pavement industry.

The survey, which covers the 2011 construction season, studies the usage of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), recycled asphalt shingles (RAS) and warm-mix asphalt (WMA). The two groups note that the use of recycled materials in asphalt pavements saved taxpayers more than $2.2 billion dollars during the 2011 paving season.

According to the survey, about 21.2 million barrels of liquid asphalt binder were saved through the use of RAP and RAS during 2011. Also, about 19 percent of all asphalt produced in the country that year was made using WMA.

In 2011, RAP usage reached 66.7 million tons, a 7 percent increase from 2010 and a 19 percent increase from 2009. More than 99 percent of asphalt pavement reclaimed from roads was collected for use in new pavements. In the survey, 98 percent of producers reported using RAP in their mixes for new construction, pavement preservation, rehabilitation, and other projects.

RAS usage also continued to climb, increasing to 1.2 million tons in 2011 — an 8 percent increase over 2010, and a 52.5 percent increase since 2009. Since 2009, RAS usage has been reported in 36 states. RAS includes both manufacturers’ scrap shingles and post-consumer roofing shingles.

In 2011, total WMA tonnage in the United States was estimated at about 69 million tons, a 67 percent increase from 2010 and a nearly 309 percent increase since 2009. Almost all the WMA in the United States was produced using a foaming process; warm-mix additive technologies accounted for a little more than 4 percent of the market.

The NAPA says that the survey came from results from 203 companies with 1,091 plants in 49 states and Puerto Rico, along with data from 32 State Asphalt Pavement Associations, which were used to calculate industry estimates for total tonnage.

To view the full survey, including a state-by-state breakdown of the data, is available at