When You Purchase Asphalt Aggregates, Look For Sustainable Products

When You Purchase Asphalt Aggregates, Look For Sustainable Products

9 September 2022
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

Asphalt aggregates are moving toward being more sustainable, both in terms of material and durability. The industry recognizes that conserving resources and reducing waste go hand in hand and are for the benefit of the planet and society. At an individual purchasing level, this means that you can now find aggregates that contain more recycled and repurposed materials, and you can use processes that help make the asphalt last much longer, even in the face of extremely heavy traffic and adverse conditions.

Look for Mixes With Recycled Construction Debris

Recycled construction debris, such as old concrete, can be broken down and mixed in with other materials to form the aggregate needed for an asphalt road surface. This prevents so much concrete from heading into landfills and avoids the need to have companies manufacture even more new concrete mixes. Yes, you'll still find new concrete mixes, of course, but the more you can use recycled aggregate, the better.

Consider Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement

What happens to old asphalt when it's ripped up and replaced? Nowadays, it's often crushed up and reused as something called reclaimed asphalt pavement, in both aggregates and as a surface layer for new asphalt paving. Just as using crushed, recycled concrete in aggregates saves resources and prevents waste, so too does the use of reclaimed asphalt pavement.

Note that you can still use new asphalt aggregates if needed; not every paving project will lend itself well to using products produced through recycling and reclamation. But the number of times when you'd have to use new materials is dwindling as researchers find more and more ways to increase the versatility of recycled materials.

Foamed Asphalt and Cold Recycling

Once you buy the asphalt aggregate, your quest for sustainability doesn't end. Look into a process called foamed asphalt for when you need to build a road that can withstand extreme conditions. This option is also called foamed bitumen, and it's proven to be extremely tough even in the face of major flooding, which would normally tear up roads and their bases. Using foamed asphalt with recycled aggregates—do check that the aggregate you buy will work well with foamed asphalt first—reduces the environmental footprint of your new asphalt surface substantially. It's less likely to need as many repairs as quickly as regular asphalt, and the ability to keep old materials out of landfills is more than helpful.

The asphalt and paving industry wants to produce strong surfaces that do not deplete resources. Do your part by purchasing recycled and repurposed materials whenever possible.

Contact a company like J.F. Shea Construction, Inc to learn more.