Asphalt: the go-to material for green paving projects

Asphalt might not sound like a green word, but it is a green product that packs the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, improve air quality and keep our water clean.

Over the years, asphalt has become the go-to material for constructing green pavements and is used for everything from fish hatcheries to lining our drinking water reservoirs. From the production of the paving material to the placement of the pavement on the road, to rehabilitation through recycling, asphalt pavement minimizes the impact on the environment.

The low consumption of energy for production and construction, low emissions of greenhouse gases, and conservation of natural resources help to make asphalt the environmental pavement of choice. As both private companies and public agencies look for ways to be more sustainable and reduce their environmental impact, they can start by looking from the ground up.

Lakeside Industries has been recognized by various organizations and received awards and accolades for our environmental contributions. We work hard to find solutions for our clients to increase sustainability within their own organization.

We received a King County Green Globe award in 2013 for our production of sustainable pavements by using recycled asphalt shingles in our paving mix. We were also recognized for our work with the Washington State Department of Transportation on a new pavement specification for evaluating pavements containing recycled asphalt shingles on state roads.

Recycling roads

In order to be green, we have committed to producing a product that incorporates recycled materials into our asphalt mixes. Reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) is the term given to removed and reprocessed pavement materials containing asphalt and aggregates.

These materials are generated when asphalt pavements are removed for reconstruction, resurfacing or to obtain access to buried utilities. RAP has multiple applications and can be crushed and incorporated into hot- or warm-mix asphalt that is used for new paving projects and utilized as an aggregate for various construction uses.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency and Federal Highway Administration, RAP is recognized as America’s number-one recycled product, and the asphalt industry reuses and recycles nearly 75 million tons of its own product every year. This takes a significant burden off landfills and helps to ensure that untapped mineral resources will be available to future generations.

Use of RAP also helps to lower greenhouse gas emissions. According to an EPA study, adding 20 percent RAP to new asphalt pavements reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 14 percent.

Porous pavement

Use of recycled materials and construction of porous asphalt pavements in major projects helps organizations reach their sustainability goals and can be a significant factor when being considered for various awards and designations. Lakeside helps these businesses by producing high-quality paving materials that help them meet these awards requirements.

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