NAPA: RAP is America’s most recycled product

By |  September 29, 2020
According to NAPA, 82 million tons of RAP, along with 1.05 million tons of RAS, were used in 389.3 million tons of new asphalt pavement mixes in the U.S. in 2018. Photo by Kevin Yanik

Nearly 100 million tons of RAP were reclaimed in the U.S. in 2019. Photo: P&Q Staff

Reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) is the most recycled product in the U.S., according to the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA).

According to an industry survey conducted by NAPA, in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), 97 million tons of RAP were reclaimed in 2019 – saving enough landfill space to fill up the U.S. Capitol dome 1,223 times, NAPA says.

Of the 97 million tons of RAP reclaimed last year, contractors reused 89.2 million tons in new asphalt pavements – representing an 8.5 percent increase from 2018 and a 59.3 percent increase from 2009, when the annual survey was first conducted.

Furthermore, the 97 million tons of RAP represents a larger figure than all combined plastic and glass bottles, aluminum and steel cans, and newspapers recycled annually, the association says.

“NAPA and its members are committed to building and maintaining our country’s infrastructure with the utmost goal of recycling, sustainability and our concern for the environment and resources while providing the smoothest, quietest, safest and most perpetual pavement surface available,” says Jay Winford Jr., chairman of NAPA.

The survey, for the first time, evaluated greenhouse gas emissions and found RAP usage saved 2.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. That’s equivalent to removing 520,000 passenger vehicles from the road, according to NAPA.

NAPA and FHWA’s survey compiled results from 212 companies operating 1,101 plants across 48 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and one U.S. territory.

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