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Recycling of Asphalt Mixes and Use of Waste

EAPA as a responsible industry organisation taking into consideration the current trends towards:

* sustainable development, whilst impact on the environment is minimized,

* optimizing the use of natural resources,

* increasing restrictions on the dumping of reusable material, possibly leading to a ban on their disposal into landfills,

* potential economic incentives to encourage the recycling and re-use,

will promote increased recycling of asphalt mixes and assess for suitability, alternative sources of recyclable material.

These materials will be combined along with technical innovation and enhanced quality management systems to produce an improving product that retains the potential for approaching 100% re-usability.

The European asphalt industry takes care of the environment and feels responsible for its product during its whole lifetime. EAPA therefore strongly supports, where economically and technically feasible, all efforts to optimize the recycling and re-use of asphalt. In addition EAPA holds the position on so-called “Construction and Demolition Waste”, that it is a potentially re-usable/recyclable product, and therefore should not automatically be defined as a waste, where doing so would restrict or prevent its subsequent use as a secundary material. Further reference is given in the “EAPA Environmental guidelines on Best Available Techniques (BAT) for the production of asphalt mixes”.

Whilst pursuing the above objectives the asphalt industry will ensure continual improvements in workplace health and safety and that overall impact on the natural environment is minimized.

These principles will determine whether in addition to reclaimed asphalt, by-products produced by others also can be incorporated into new asphalt. The suitability for inclusion will be determined by technical performance, economical assessment, along with potential environmental and health and safety constraints.


If reclaimed asphalt is recovered and free of contamination it can be guaranteed that the total amount of this reclaimed asphalt can be reused as construction material. It should be the obligation of the owner of the asphalt to be reclaimed to certify the level of contamination, before it is offered to the asphalt industry for processing. This level of contamination will determine the possible level and method of recycling or re-use.

The industry strongly supports all efforts to increase the percentage of reclaimed asphalt into new hot mix asphalt. It is the aim of the industry to reuse reclaimed asphalt at the highest possible level. This is economically (because of the reuse of the bitumen as well as the aggregate) and ecologically desirable.

It is necessary to have the option if the amount of reclaimed asphalt is so high, that it is not possible to reuse it in another way, for it to be utilised as a secondary raw material in other fields of construction.

Standards and tender documents should be formulated in performance terms to make the application of secondary raw materials possible on an equal basis to primary raw materials. The owner should take all necessary steps to implement recovery oriented separation of reclaimed asphalt.

The industry cannot recycle a greater amount of reclaimed asphalt without the full support of the authorities and engineering community, to adapt asphalt specifications and pavement design to the progress of recycling techniques and available production capacity.

Rather than quotas and mandated minimum quantities requirements, the amount of potential recycling should be steered by general market forces. In this respect geographical availability of reclaimed asphalt and technical practicalities should be considered. Governmental incentives should not be used to influence the market.

The industry has a preference to concentrate on the increased use of reclaimed asphalt instead of actively pursuing the availability for incorporation of other materials into asphalt.