As the move toward sustainable infrastructure gathers momentum, the region of Peel in Ontario has been taking the bull by the horns through its use of recycled aggregates in road construction and maintenance projects.
In a recent statement, the Peel regional government says it has embraced cold-in-place recycling, a technique used to restore road surfaces using existing asphalt pavement rather than new material by employing a method in which the upper road surface is ground up, mixed in with asphalt emulsion and laid back down without the use of heat.
Over the past five years, the region has recycled an annual average of 5,000 tonnes of asphalt millings, and has paved 110 lane kilometres of road using this process over the past 15 years. This both helps the environment and reduces costs by roughly 30 per cent compared to the using virgin asphalt.
Describing recycled aggregates as ‘the way of the future’ Caledon Mayor Marolyn Morrison said the municipality is one of the most significant in terms of aggregate production in Ontario and was seeing a noticeable impact from their use in this way.
“Using less virgin aggregates means fewer trips from heavy vehicles hauling aggregates, minimizing wear on our roads,” Morrison said. “I’m pleased that the Region’s sustainable road strategy encourages the use of recycled aggregates.”
Peel Transportation Director Damian Albanese said the Region will be looking at using crushed, clean-sourced recycled concrete in its road base in sections of upcoming road projects including King Street, The Gore Road and Mississauga Road.
Albanese says the region is enthusiastic about the benefits of recycled aggregates and is in the process of forming a working group to explore further applications.
Use of cold-in-place recycling is becoming more common throughout the developed world. Apart from cost, it has environmental and logistical benefits in terms of reusing existing material and eliminating the need to transport and store material.
Some commentators have noted that, done well, roads re-surfaced in this way can last as long as roads surfaced using original material.