Asphalt Recycling FAQ

Grand Rapids Asphalt Paving Asphalt Recycling FAQ

Did you know that using reclaimed asphalt can help you save money and is just as durable as brand new asphalt? As an asphalt contractor in Greater Grand Rapids, we get a lot of questions about how the process works. For those interested in learning more about asphalt recycling, we put together this list of frequently asked questions. We hope it gives you some added perspective when you hire an asphalt paving contractor for a parking lot or driveway. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Can Asphalt Be Recycled?

Yes, asphalt is 100% recyclable! Asphalt is one of the best environmental solutions for roads because old asphalt can be reused time and time again and doesn’t require us to mine more natural resources.

What is RAP?

RAP stands for “reclaimed asphalt product” and is made out of asphalt millings or chunks. Any asphalt that has been removed can be recycled and used as RAP. The standard process removes the topmost layer of asphalt that’s grown too high from repaving and filling. All the material, or aggregates, get reused.

Related:Reasons to Consider Asphalt Millings over Gravel →

Can I Save Money with Recycled Asphalt? 

Yes! Recycled asphalt pavement is less expensive than paying for new paving materials. The average cost to recycle asphalt is $18 per ton. This is significantly less than the average cost of new asphalt as that comes out to around $100-$200 per ton.

The price of asphalt and recycled asphalt does fluctuate though, so these numbers may be quite different depending on your region and provider. However, this helps you get a general idea of how much you could save with recycled asphalt.

How Does Asphalt Recycling Benefit the Environment?

When you recycle old pavement, you are putting less strain on scarce natural resources.

While asphalt doesn’t have drastic environmental effects, recycling asphalt materials significantly cuts down on waste. Recycling asphalt pavement reduces carbon emissions caused by mining, quarrying, and oil consumption. 

Asphalt is a substance that doesn’t leach. This means that asphalt, even recycled asphalt, can be used to improve things like sewer systems and water quality because asphalt doesn’t leach residue into the environment. Recycled asphalt can then be used on things like water basins, waste dumps, and other things as a safe fillable material. 

How Long Does Recycled Asphalt Last?

The life expectancy of recycled asphalt is the same as brand new asphalt. Given proper maintenance, there’s no reason why your recycled asphalt pavement shouldn’t last you 20 years before needing to be replaced.

Is Recycled Asphalt Durable?

Yes, if recycled asphalt has been properly installed and maintained, it will be as durable as new asphalt. 

How Do Asphalt Contractors Dispose of Recycled Asphalt?

Most asphalt contractors don’t own asphalt recycling facilities. However, they will take your old asphalt to a hot mix plant to be recycled for a fee.

How is Asphalt Recycled?

The asphalt recycling process starts with loading asphalt millings and large broken pieces of asphalt into the asphalt recycler. The materials are then tumbled for about 20 minutes at a temperature of 300 degrees Fahrenheit until they reach the consistency needed for repaving.

Asphalt recycling centers will crush asphalt remnants until they reach the right consistency. The recycled asphalt is then mixed with special asphalt bonding material. 

Since 1970, according to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, asphalt mixing companies have been able to reduce emissions by 97% while still increasing in asphalt production.

The goal is that emissions reach 0% so that we will have a completely renewable product with zero negative effects on the environment. Asphalt is closer than any other common road pavement.

How Much Asphalt is Reused in the U.S. Each Year?

According to NAPA, approximately 100 million tons of old asphalt gets harvested and reclaimed, while around 60 million tons of new asphalt gets laid every year. Recycled asphalt is said to save American taxpayers around 1.8 billion dollars per year. 

Request a Free Estimate for Recycled Asphalt

A-1 Asphalt Inc. is an asphalt recycling contractor in Greater Grand Rapids, MI, that’s dedicated to helping you with sustainable pavement projects. If you are interested in our asphalt milling or asphalt recycling services, feel free to contact us online or give us a call at (800) 871-4401.

This blog post has been updated.