According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association (www.hotmix.org), asphalt is America’s most recycled material. There are two major uses for the recycled material: road base and new asphalt. Demolished asphalt is commonly hauled to the asphalt plant, where it is ground up and ‘reactivated’ in new hot mix asphalt. The remaining demolished asphalt that doesn’t go back into new hot mix is usually hauled to a recycling yard where it is crushed into smaller pieces and turned into road base. Road base consists of larger ‘rocks’ (up to 1”) and smaller material that acts as a binder and is then used underneath new asphalt paving or alone for ‘all-weather’ driveways and parking lots. New technologies and requirements for quality Recycled Asphalt Road Base have put a demand on the industry to make the material meet CDOT’s specifications for aggregate base course.
But the ‘green’ in this industry doesn’t stop there, as other materials are commonly used in new hot mix asphalt. Asphalt shingles are another item that is commonly ‘reactivated’ at the batch plant and reused in the hot mix. Today, most old, wore-out shingles are staying out of the landfill and getting a second life in asphalt paving.