JUNE 2010

Recycling makes cents for Missouri

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) knows that recycling has many benefits.

With the increasing number of contractors in Missouri using recycled asphalt and tear-off shingles, MoDOT saved $20 million on resurfacing projects last year alone in which recycled asphalt was used as a hot mix asphalt material.

In 2009, MoDOT used a half-million tons of reclaimed asphalt pavement (a process known as Hot In-Place Recycling) and 53,000 tons of recycled asphalt shingles: enough roofing material to cover the tops of nearly 17,000 homes. Beyond the cost savings, the environmentally friendly effort reduced the amount of petroleum MoDOT used in its road construction program by 20 percent and significantly cut down the amount of shingles that went into Missouri landfills.

Using recycled asphalt shingles on roadways has been a success in Missouri and is growing in popularity. Two years ago, there were only about a half-dozen shingle suppliers and contractors using or furnishing the recycled roofing material in Missouri. According to Joe Schroer, a MoDOT field materials engineer, many contractors had a wait-and-see attitude.

“When MoDOT first began to allow recycled asphalt shingles to be added into hot mix asphalt, many contractors were leery about how well the product would hold up on the road,” said Schroer. “It didn’t take long for that mindset to change. Now contractors are stepping up their use of recycled materials to be able to compete for jobs.”

The asphalt mixture has proven to be very durable, more rut resistant and lower in cost – factors that can’t be ignored in a highly competitive contracting environment. Today there are 13 contractors who use recycled asphalt shingles as a standard part of their business and 14 collectors/processors of shingles in Missouri.

MoDOT also uses other recycled materials on the roadways such as tires, concrete and coal cinders.

For a list of Missouri companies that recycle asphalt shingles or paving contractors that use them, visit www.modot.org/goinggreen.