Does Asphalt Affect the Environment?
There are many benefits of asphalt paving, including its minimal impact on the local environment. Not only is asphalt 100% recyclable, but it’s one of the most reused materials on the planet. also helps lower the cost of paving projects while reducing the strain on our natural resources. Speaking as your local asphalt contractor near Minneapolis, MN, this is a win-win!
Here’s a more in-depth look at how asphalt affects the environment.
Most people associate recycling with paper, pop cans, or empty milk containers. However, the truth is that asphalt is one of the most recycled materials of them all. In fact, the streets you drive on were most likely paved with recycled asphalt.
When it comes to road construction and maintenance, you may have a lot of ideas about 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.
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.
Recycling asphalt is what helps make it environmentally friendly. As a local asphalt paving company, we don’t have to harvest raw materials from the earth like gravel. Instead, we can reuse and recycle to preserve natural resources as much as possible.
Learn More: How Does Asphalt Recycling Work? →
How Asphalt is Created
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 remaining 95%.
Asphalt can be mixed in three different ways, each of them requiring a different process but all of them having minimal environmental concerns.
Hot Asphalt Mixture: Known for their extreme durability, these mixes are often used in high traffic areas like highways and airports.
Warm Asphalt Mixture: These are generally better for the environment and for workers because the temperature isn’t as extreme, which reduces heating costs and saves workers from proximity to high heats.
Cold Mixture: These are possible through a bitumen chemical reaction that doesn’t require heat. They’re most common for low traffic areas such as back roads, play courts, roofing, and walking trails.
The EPA considers asphalt production a minor source of industrial pollution, and in some cases, construction projects can earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credits by using asphalt.
How Asphalt Affects Air, Water, and City Living
Did you know that some water drinking 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 and impenetrable shield.
The asphalt industry has also cut down on air pollution by 97%, while still increasing production by a whopping 250%. This even encompasses greenhouse gas effects!
Too much asphalt pavement can contribute to heat cities, which are also known as urban heat islands. This issue is something we take into consideration as a Minneapolis asphalt contractor. Although asphalt is not the main element that causes this, we plan for things like water runoff and proper drainage practices to help maintain quality living standards.
Request an Estimate for Asphalt Services
ACT Asphalt Specialties Co. is proud to serve as your local asphalt contractor near Minneapolis, MN. To request an estimate for any of our asphalt paving and repair services, please call (651) 484-1696. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon to discuss the details of your upcoming project.
This blog post has been updated.