Heavy Equipment Guide Logo

Recycled aggregates for roads

Some Ontario municipalities are underutilizing or avoiding its use, but industry groups are hoping to change that

Recycled aggregates  for roads

Municipalities are responsible for the care and maintenance of vast amounts of roads, from lanes to highways. When those roads are repaired or replaced, there's the potential to generate a significant amount of aggregate material - concrete and asphalt removed from the surface that must be dealt with.
Today's roadbuilding contractors are taking this material and recycling it more than ever before. However, research is showing that some municipalities are far better than others when it comes to using this type of aggregate in their roads - and some are far behind.

A study conducted on behalf of the Toronto and Area Road Builders Association (TARBA) has shown that Ontario municipalities are all over the place in how much recycled material they use for road construction, with some almost entirely eschewing recycled aggregate - a greener alternative to new material - on their projects.

"There's not a huge commitment to recycling aggregate; in fact, there's a reticence to use the product," said Rob Bradford, executive director of TARBA. "I think it stems from a fear of trying something new, thinking that something might happen - sticking with virgin aggregate has less potential for risk."

According to a study by a researcher from the University of Western Ontario, the allowable use of recycled aggregate across the region ranges from significant amounts in some large areas like Toronto, down to nearly none in Mississauga. Instead, according to Bradford, millions of tonnes of material are either sent to the landfill or into stockpiles. At the same time, those low rates mean that new aggregate must be trucked significant distances, burning fuel and generating greenhouse gases, and used aggregate ends up in the waste stream. 

Recycled aggregate means more sustainable infrastructure overall, Bradford noted.

"They should be doing a much better job, a much greener job, of recycling asphalt and concrete. They need to be a part of the solution, rather than part of the problem," he said.

The study looked at construction practices in five regional municipalities and 15 single or lower-tier municipalities across Ontario, conducting a survey regarding approved uses of recycled aggregate for a variety of situations. Results of the survey showed a broad range of standards in both road construction and subdivision work.

For example, the collected responses showed that some 50 percent of surveyed municipalities do not allow the use of recycled concrete and asphalt as 55mm aggregate for granular base and subbase for pavement. Forty percent allow partial use, and 10 percent allow for full use. The municipalities are even more restrictive when it comes to 19mm aggregate for granular pavement, with 55 percent not allowing recycled material, 35 percent okay with partial use and 10 percent allowing full use.

Ready-mix concrete is the most restrictive use for these municipalities, with 80 percent not allowing recycled aggregate use and 20 percent allowing partial use. On the other side, 50 percent of municipalities are okay with recycled aggregate being used for engineered fill, and 90 percent allow partial or full use for construction access roads, bicycle paths and similar construction.

Among individual cities, Toronto - the highest scoring municipality in the survey - allows recycled material for use in everything but engineered fill, stabilization of soft subgrades, Portland cement ready mix, and concrete for sidewalks, curbs and other uses within subdivisions. Some other uses are restricted, but for the most part full use is allowed.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Mississauga, which allows full use of recycled aggregate for construction access roads, bicycle paths and similar features - and only that. No other recycled product is allowed in any projects.

Recycled aggregate quality has greatly improved
Bradford suggested that disapproval of recycled materials in municipal policy may come from lingering concerns about quality - something that has improved greatly with the growth of the aggregates recycling industry.

"You have to ensure the quality of recycled aggregate - it has to be an engineered quality, it has to be properly processed and tested. Like any material, going back 10 or 15 years there are probably a couple of things that have stuck in peoples' minds from when it was used in the infancy of the industry where it didn't work out because quality control wasn't what it should have been," Bradford said. "If you're a consultant working for a municipality, or you're an engineer in charge of the roads department, that kind of decision is a risk - so, you play it safe and just specify virgin aggregate."

That trend of specifying new material creates many issues for contractors who have to manage the aggregate removed from jobsites, Bradford noted.

"The owner just writes off ownership in the contract, so the contractor has to find a place to get rid of anything that comes off that project. Now, if they produce recycled aggregate themselves, they will take it to their yard and pile it up. If they don't, they have to find someone who does produce it. . . or dispose of it in the landfill," he said. "The point we're reaching now is. . . [that] there's so much of the stuff now, they will have to start charging to take it in, and second, they're going to have to turn people away."

TARBA is encouraging municipalities to find ways of using more recycled asphalt in their construction work; one example Bradford pointed to is the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, which currently uses 20 percent recycled materials in its highway construction work.

"They've been very forthcoming about their commitment to reusing recycled aggregate. . . they're using tens of millions of tons a year - if you can put this material under highways that carry the amount of traffic that ours carry, then surely there's an argument for using it under a municipal street," Bradford said. 

Only about seven percent of the aggregates used in Ontario currently come from recycled sources, as opposed to European countries which use up to 20 percent recycled product, Bradford noted. That's a goal he said TARBA would like to see municipalities aim for.

"We are encouraging municipalities to use the Ministry of Transportation model. If municipalities have the same attitude and the same practices as the MTO, we as a province would be recycling close to the levels that we should be, and which are supportable from a technical standpoint," Bradford said. "There are Ontario provincial standards that look into the science behind this - what percentage of recycled aggregate you can use as a base course, or as a surface course, or on a bicycle trail. This has all been well figured out. We want municipalities to recycle the maximum allowable under the provincial specifications."

More from Roadbuilding

EDFA named new BOMAG representative for Quebec

BOMAG announces that it is partnering with Mont-St-Hilaire-based agent EDFA as its rental equipment line representative in the province of Quebec. As the new BOMAG manufacturer's representative, EDFA will work with independent and provincial rental outlets to make sure they have the right mix of BOMAG compaction equipment in their rental fleets to support their customers. 

Case adds two new vibratory rollers to DV Series

Case Construction Equipment has introduced the latest additions to the DV Series of vibratory rollers. With models available in both double drum and combination (front drum with rear pneumatic tires) configurations, these rollers are powerful, easy to transport and nimble enough to work in a variety of residential and commercial construction applications where the operator may encounter tight quarters, curbs, structures and other obstacles.

State-of-the-art high-performance W380 CRi cold recycler from Wirtgen

Due to the rapid increase in heavy-duty transport, the global road network is showing visible signs of aging in many places. In order to ensure that the road infrastructure remains functional over the long term, roads are increasingly requiring structural rehabilitation. Wirtgen developed the high-performance W 380 CRi cold recycler specifically to meet these requirements. This innovative machine will be unveiled to the world at the Bauma trade show. 

Wacker Neuson restyles ride-on roller for improved visibility and curb clearance

Wacker Neuson has updated its 1.2-ton tandem vibratory roller line to include improved visibility, curb clearance and easier service access. The RD12 series has dominated the industry since it was originally developed and introduced to the North American market 30 years ago. These popular ride-on rollers are the perfect fit for residential and commercial construction for asphalt and subbase soil compaction of parking lots, driveways, secondary roads and nature trails. Additionally, they are an excellent choice for landscape and golf course contractors to statically roll sod, fairways and greens.

Efficient fleet management with WITOS FleetView from Wirtgen Group

"A penny saved is a penny earned." WITOS FleetView is a must-have for anyone who takes this old proverb to heart, because with the fleet and service management solution from the WIRTGEN GROUP, users and machine operators have diverse advantages that are worth their weight in gold. An example from the field confirms it: GSI-Asphalt, a medium-sized enterprise in Eging am See, near Passau, Germany, has been using WITOS FleetView for years in conjunction with the SmartService service agreement. While SmartService provides for regular inspections in accordance with the instruction manual, the telematics solution WITOS FleetView additionally supports proactive maintenance planning and a rapid response in the event of faults. Both services guarantee maximum machine availability - enhancing the cost-efficiency and value retention of the machinery.

free-paper-airplane

Get our newsletter

Learn more

World premiere of Bell Equipment's B45E 4x4

With the launch of the new Bell B45E 4x4 at bauma, Bell Equipment will add a new model to its range of articulated 4x4 two-axle ADTs. Similar to the sixty-tonner B60E and the smaller Bell B30E 4x4, the new truck is configured to provide a highly efficient and cost-effective transport solution for niche applications in the mining and construction industry.

Bridgestone brings portfolio of OTR tire solutions to AGG1

Bridgestone Americas, Inc. will exhibit its integrated portfolio of off-the-road (OTR) products, technologies and services at the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association Aggregates Academy and Expo (AGG1) and World of Asphalt 2019 Show and Conference, Feb. 12-14 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Located at booth 31089, Bridgestone will showcase the benefits of using products backed by integrated technologies to drive increased productivity for customers.

free-magazine-subscription

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more

Komatsu America and Bomag distribution partnership paves way to new market opportunities

Bomag Americas, Inc. and Komatsu America Corp. are pleased to announce that Komatsu's six company owned dealerships (Edward Ehrbar, Komatsu Equipment Company, Komatsu Northeast, Komatsu Southwest, Midlantic Machinery and Pine Bush Equipment) have entered into an arrangement for the sale and support of Bomag compaction, milling, paving and reclaiming/stabilizing equipment for roadbuilding and other construction markets. 

Bomag's new paving training programs help operators and companies get the most from their equipment

For asphalt contractors to be successful in today's competitive paving market, paver and roller operators must acquire a deep knowledge of the equipment's features and put this knowledge into practice at the jobsite. With long-time equipment operators retiring at a high rate, the next generation of operators must receive extensive in-depth training on the equipment in order to meet project specifications without costly rework so companies can maximize equipment return on investment.

Asphalt Drum Mixers offers crane-set and self-erect asphalt storage silos

Asphalt Drum Mixers, Inc. offers crane-set and self-erect asphalt storage silos, which are compatible with both the company's own and similar competitive models of asphalt plants. ADM silos are available in many configurations from single self-erecting silo to multiple crane-set silos and several drive-through configurations. Capacities are available between 30 and 300 tons. Custom designs and capacities are also available to accommodate any producer.

Road Dryer RD-1200 safely dries pavement in one pass for paving, surface treatments

The RD-1200XT pavement-drying unit from Greenville, South Carolina-based Road Dryer, LLC, quickly dries asphalt and concrete pavement, allowing crews to pave or apply surface treatments or striping after just one pass. The unit, which blows heated air up to 300° F directly downward through multiple nozzles, eliminates the risk of "flying objects," and allows traffic to flow in nearby lanes — reducing congestion caused by traffic restrictions. Available as a simple-to-operate trailer- or truck-mounted unit, the RD-1200XT can be adjusted for 8-ft to 12-ft (2.4m to 3.7m) drying widths. Because it dries pavement on demand, it provides flexibility for contractors and government agencies to meet timetables by minimizing delays from weather- and project-related wet conditions.

In-depth report: asphalt pavers

Trends in asphalt paving centre around making it easier and faster to lay down the highest quality pavement. In our latest in-depth report, our panel of experts from five manufacturers take a look at advances and technologies that are available in asphalt pavers, their current level of adoption, the advantages they offer, plus considerations when looking at the purchase of a new machine. 

free-paper-airplane

Get our newsletter

Learn more

NC Equipment purchases DYNAPAC’S NEWEST MOBILE Feeder in North America

Segregation - the separation of asphalt mats that can cause headaches for road maintenance crews - is a hot topic in the paving industry as more contracts include clauses regarding this challenging condition. 
As a long-time dealer and rental house serving northern Alberta's asphalt contractors, NC Equipment keeps track of the trends in the industry. As a full-time Dynapac dealer since 2017, it has taken the lead for its customers by bringing in a North American first to help reduce segregation problems on roadbuilding jobs.

​A-1 Sandrock paves the way with recycled asphalt shingles and Terex equipment

With 12 million tons of tear-off roofing material being generated each year in the United States, and increased regulations, the industry demands efficient recyclers. Efficiency is second nature to A-1 Sandrock. The company has rose to the challenge over the last few years, growing their shingle disposal program into a massive operation that's convenient for roofers, communities, North Carolina, and the surrounding states.

Cat pneumatic compactor in nine- and eleven-wheel models is ideal for all types of asphalt mix

Designed for use on granular materials and all types of asphalt-mix designs, the new Cat CW16 pneumatic (rubber-tire) roller is available as a standard nine-wheel model with a 69-inch (1,754-mm) compaction width or as an optional 11-wheel model with an 84-inch (2,132-mm) compaction width. The CW16 is designed for efficient performance on highways, city streets, county roads, lane additions, industrial sites, overlays, or other mid-size jobs.

Asphalt road preservation package from Neal Manufacturing offers efficiency and quality results

Neal Manufacturing, a Division of Blastcrete Equipment LLC, and a leader in asphalt pavement preservation equipment, offers its Asphalt Road Preservation Package for optimal efficiency and high-quality results on both detail and high-volume sealcoating applications. The package includes Neal Manufacturing's drivable DA 350 dual applicator for quick prep work and sealcoating around curbs and gutters, and its High-Volume Road Maintenance Vehicle that delivers high material output for efficiency on large projects. 

New lightweight Bomag single-direction plate compactor designed to avoid asphalt material pushing, shoving and scuffing

An indispensable tool for repair, maintenance and paving applications, the new Bomag BVP 12/50 A single-direction vibratory plate compactor is specifically designed and equipped for asphalt compaction, expanding the machine's use beyond traditional soil compaction. This asphalt specialist features a base plate specifically designed to avoid asphalt material pushing, shoving and scuffing to deliver a superior finish. The highly wear-resistant cast iron base plate delivers exceptional service life.

Wirtgen Group technologies impress at Intermat

The Wirtgen Group showed of a number of its latest innovations at Intermat this year, all 5 brands were strongly represented: Wirtgen, Vögele, Hamm, Kleemann and Benninghoven.  Visitors had the chance to talk with experienced applications experts from the Group and got up to speed on the latest technologies for the entire road construction cycle while learning more about the Wirtgen Group's extensive range of service offerings. Here is an overview of some of the highlights: 

W 150 CFi with 1800-mm milling drum assembly leads the Wirtgen line-up.

free-magazine-subscription

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more