Why Use Recycled Aggregate?
Why use recycled aggregate? As far as recycling is concerned, asphalt and concrete are among the simplest materials to recycle and re-use, with significant markets available for recycled aggregate.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet on Recycled Aggregates, more than 100 million tons of asphalt is recovered annually in the United States, with 80% of it being recycled (the other 20% still goes to landfills). Of the recycled asphalt, about two-thirds is used as recycled aggregate for road base, with the remaining one-third used to produce new asphalt hot mixes.
Using recycled aggregate earns credits for the LEED Green Building Rating System.
About 100 million tons of concrete also is recycled annually, with about 68% of that being reused as recycled aggregate in road base and the remainder in new concrete mixes, asphalt hot mixes, riprap and general fill.
Production of recycled aggregate can occur at the construction site, where worn out asphalt and concrete is removed, crushed and screened, or hauled to a local recycling facility for processing.
Recycling asphalt and concrete on-site for use in recycled aggregate provides the benefits of:
- Reduced use of landfill space
- Lower costs for heavy materials hauling
- Less wear and tear on roads and equipment
- Decreased energy costs for transportation vehicles
- Reduced cost of road base material – PK Crushing estimates its recycled aggregate saves up to 40% of the cost compared with virgin aggregates
- Earned credits for the LEED Green Building Rating System.
Recycled aggregate performs as well as virgin aggregate in numerous applications, such as:
- Aggregate base, sub-base and shoulders for paved roads
- Surfacing of gravel roads
- Base for building foundations
- Fill in trenches