Asphalt is 100% recyclable. RAP stands for ‘Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement’, and is asphalt pavement material that has been removed from paved surfaces and/or reprocessed (recycled). Asphalt chunks or millings are loaded into an asphalt recycler. The recycle tumbles and heats the material. After approximately 20 minutes of heating the hot mix asphalt is typically 300F and ready for laydown using conventional techniques.
There is a profit/savings potential of approximately $30.00-$80.00/ton recycled. The wide savings range relates
directly to the range in asphalt costs across the USA. Contractors and municipalities can recycle their RAP
materials for approximately $18.00 /ton using a PT-PRO Series Recycler. If hot mix purchased at the asphalt
plant cost $78.00/ton, then there is an effective saings of $60.00/ton. Therefore, an owner operator recyling
50 tons/day for 30 days, will yield a savings/profit of $90,000.
Asphalt Recycling benefits the environment in many ways. In particular, it reduces quarrying, mining
and oil consumption. Every year, approximatley 75 million tons of asphalt is recycled. Asphalt recycling
reduces our consumption of scarce natural resources (aggregate and asphalt) and simultaneously keeps 75
million tons of material out of US landfills. Recycling asphalt also dramatically reduces the consumption of
resources such as fuel, machinery, transportation and labor when compared with producing virgin asphalt
According to the Federal Highway Administration 73 million tons of reclaimed asphalt pavement is reused
every year. This is nearly twice as much as paper, glass, aluminum and plastics combined. Many contractors
do not have a facility for processing (crushing and screening) RAP or for reusing RAP. Rather than paying a
tipping fee at the landfill, the contractor will often dispose of the RAP at the hot mix plant, which charges
a small fee and then recycles the RAP and resells it.
According to a study conducted in the UK by Accord Highways and Stafford-shire County Council in 2007,
the VEB Ashalt Recycler was used to recycle 2,500 Metric Tonnes of recycled asphalt and yielded a
1,596 tonnes reduction in carbon emissions.
Asphalt recycling benefits cities, county and state highway departments through: reduced hotmix costs
through recycling, eliminating RAP disposal costs, reduced reliance on the hotmix plant, ability to produce
hot mix material 24/7, ability to produce virigin asphalt (with certain asphalt recyclers) and the ability to
eliminate wasted labor costs required when using cold patch for pothole repairs.
Properly graded RAP with sufficient asphalt content, that is ‘properly’ recycled (not overheated and properly mixed) will peform nearly identically to virgin asphalt. The results should be very similar to that of using a virgin hot mix asphalt. The biggest determining factor effecting material performance for both virgin and recycled asphalt is proper preparation of the repair site and adequate compaction by the crew.