Millions of tonnes of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) are stockpiled across the province. Using these materials in road building presents an opportunity to continue building high quality roads while also seeing major environmental and financial benefits. This can be achieved if the province creates a standard to mandate the use of RAP into road construction projects.
When municipalities and road builders rehabilitate existing roads, RAP is produced. It consists of approximately 95% aggregate (stone, asphalt, sand, etc.) and 5% bitumen. An OGRA study found that there are currently 114 storage sites across Ontario containing a conservative estimate of 6.7 million tonnes of RAP (5.9M tonnes unprocessed, 0.8M processed).
By incorporating RAP into road construction projects, a number of benefits are realized. Financially, there is a cost reduction in road building as the use of RAP decreases the need for new materials. Costs associated with procuring, hauling, and storing the inputs that RAP replaces are eliminated. The product is largely a ‘free’ input.
Environmentally, the use of RAP allows for the recovering of non-renewable petrochemical resources. The ability to reuse these materials eliminates the need to ship massive volumes of solid waste to landfills. RAP also eliminates the need to source more expensive ‘virgin’ (i.e., new) aggregate resources. There is also an associated reduction of water use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This is where the largest opportunity exists.
Join Good Roads push for cleaner, more cost-effective, high quality municipal roads. Write to the Minister of Transportation, the Associate Minister of Transportation, and the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks asking for the province to mandate that road construction and rehabilitation projects incorporate 10% RAP into surface course and 20% RAP in the base/binder course.