Yes, asphalt is safe for the environment. But a simple answer doesn’t do justice because there are a lot of benefits of asphalt that don’t get talked about.
Here’s what you need to know about how asphalt is made, its effects on the environment, and what to expect moving forward.
When it comes to road construction and maintenance, you may have a lot of ideas on how it works. When you see us tearing up stones and old asphalt on your local roads or the highway, it’s not so that we can get rid of old material.
All of that material is actually reused to create future asphalt.
Asphalt is a combination of rocks, sand, slag, and gravel. These are commonly known as aggregates. So, tearing up old roads isn’t a destruction process, but more of a reconstruction process.
This also means that the longevity of asphalt goes far beyond when it was first laid to when it gets torn up.
Asphalt can be recycled over and over.
Recycling asphalt is what helps make it environmentally friendly and environmentally stable. As a local asphalt company, we don’t have to harvest raw materials from the earth like gravel but instead can reuse and recycle to save on natural resources.
Related: What is Asphalt Milling?
You might be wondering how asphalt gets bound together. This is by using a substance called bitumen, which is made by refining crude oil.
Bitumen is extremely viscous, and it’s what traditionally gives asphalt its dark color. In a typical asphalt mix, bitumen makes up about 5% while the aggregates fill up the rest of the 95%.
Asphalt can be mixed in three different ways, each of them requiring a different process but all of them having minimal environmental concerns.
Theconsiders asphalt production a minor source of industrial pollution, and in some cases, construction projects can earn (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credits by using asphalt.
Did you know that some drinking water reservoirs are layered in asphalt—just like some landfill caps, water pipelines, and lake beds? This is because asphalt doesn’t leach, making it a safe shield.
This blog post has been updated.