Earth Day! Lets Celebrate

TODAY IS EARTH DAY 

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Did you know that Asphalt is 100% Recyclable? It is also the most recycled product in the world! Who would have guessed!?!? Any deteriorated asphalt roadway, parking lot, or driveway can be removed and recycled and should never be placed in a landfill. It has value! Unlike asphalt, concrete pavements must be removed and disposed of or crushed and turned into base material before another surface (asphalt or new concrete) will be placed on top of the old concrete material.

West Contracting is doing our part! We own 3 Wirtgen Milling Machines used for Recycling Asphalt in Missouri. We remove (mill) the asphalt from existing roadways and the asphalt millings often called RAP (Recycled Asphalt Pavement) are trucked back to our asphalt plants where they are used to produce new hot mix asphalt! We have also incorporated RAS (Recycled Asphalt Shingles) from residential homes into our asphalt mixes. RAP AND RAS are called “reclaimed” materials. When reclaimed asphalt pavement and shingles are reprocessed into new pavement mixtures, the liquid asphalt binder in the recycled material is reactivated, reducing the need for virgin asphalt binder. Using reclaimed material also reduces the need for new aggregates.

The Asphalt Industry is doing its part to make sure it is not a contributing factor to greenhouse gases, minimizing their effect on the environment. In the late 1980s, NAPA (National Asphalt Pavement Association) worked with the EPA on research into air emissions, including greenhouse gases from asphalt plants. Studies showed emissions from asphalt plants are low and well controlled resulting in the EPA declaring that asphalt plants are not a major source of hazardous air pollutants. Emissions from asphalt plants have also decreased by 97% while the production of hot mix asphalt has increased by 250% since the 1970’s. Asphalt pavements also require about half the energy to produce and construct over concrete pavements.

One of the newer GREEN technologies that West Contracting has been a nationwide leader of to reduce air emissions is warm mix asphalt. This technology reduces the temperature necessary for asphalt production at an asphalt plant. Conventional asphalt pavements are produced around 320 degrees while warm-mix asphalt is produced from 212 degrees to 280 degrees.

The benefits of warm mix asphalt include reduced fuel consumption and emissions from the asphalt plants during the production process. Fuel consumption is reduced by an average of 20 percent during the manufacturing process. This in turn decreases the overall greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent. Warm mix asphalt has also been proven to extend the paving season in northern climates, increases the percentage of RAP used in mix designs, and extends the life and performance of the asphalt pavement. All of this is accomplished without comprising the quality of the final product!

Learn more by viewing the following

This MODOT Press Release on Warm Mix Asphalt called New Technology Results In Better Missouri Roadways.

West Contracting Video Section also contains interesting video’s on Recycling

FHWA has great information on the benefits of Warm Mix Asphalt called Every Day Counts 

NAPA’s also has a useful Sustainability Report – Black and Green: Sustainable Asphalt, Now & Tomorrow as well as an excellent overview called Benefits of Asphalt.

 

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