The state of the asphalt recycling industry is good and getting better. For the past 28 years the Asphalt Recycling & Reclaiming Association (ARRA) has promoted the value of recycling asphalt pavements, both from an environmental and financial perspective. A Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) report shows that in excess of 80 million tons of asphalt is recycled each year. ARRA members are responsible for a large part of this total.
ARRA represents all of the recognized asphalt recycling disciplines: cold planing, hot recycling, hot in-place recycling, cold recycling and full-depth reclamation. In the last year the association has added soil stabilization as a core discipline due to its increased use and acceptance as an integral part of the pavement design procedure and the pavement structure itself.
ARRA has an active committee structure which concentrates on each of these six disciplines. The committees consist of contractor members, supplier members and affiliate members who meet on a regular basis to share new technology and to develop promotional information for distribution to state highway agencies, local government agencies, commercial specifiers and other end users.
The need for pavement recycling is recognized and endorsed by the FHWA and is spelled out in their “Recycled Materials Policy” which states:
- Recycling and reuse can offer engineering, economic and environmental benefits;
- Recycled materials should get first consideration in materials selection;
- Determination of the use of recycled materials should include an initial review of engineering and environmental suitability;
- An assessment of economic benefits should follow in the selection process; and
- Restrictions that prohibit the use of recycled materials without technical basis should be removed from specifications.
ARRA has been a prime promoter of this policy and as a part of this effort has compiled and published the definitive reference on asphalt recycling, the Basic Asphalt Recycling Manual (BARM).
The association has two regularly scheduled meetings each year. The semiannual meeting this year will be held in Las Vegas, Oct. 24-26, and the annual meeting will be in southern Florida in February 2005. These meetings are an excellent opportunity to network with industry professionals and to hear presentations about the latest in asphalt pavement recycling technology. ARRA also is involved with seminars and presentations with other groups during the year. Information concerning all of these very informative meetings is available on ARRA’s website (www.arra.org).
ARRA is constantly working to expand and build its relationships with the FHWA, the Asphalt Institute, the Foundation for Pavement Preservation, the National Center for Pavement Preservation and others. ARRA is striving to get the word out about the advantages and economies of the various asphalt recycling disciplines.
Everyone agrees that asphalt pavement recycling is the right thing to do; they just need to be educated on how to do it properly. The ARRA website is an excellent source of information. It lists membership information, contact information for members, answers frequently asked questions and allows e-mail contact with ARRA’s executive director, Michael Krissoff. As a wise sage once said, We need to be recycling on both sides of the curb.