rap delight as recycled roads go circular

Tens of thousands of tonnes a year of planings from road maintenance schemes in London and the south east are to be recycled and reused as part of Aggregate Industries’ commitment to the circular economy.

RAP (Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement) being loaded onto rail cars to be transferred to an Aggregate Industries site in London

The leading UK building materials supplier is working with Day Aggregates in order to transport and process 40,000 tonnes of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) a year.

Earlier this year the company’s biggest ever load of RAP was transported via train from Brentford to Crawley when 1,500 tonnes was carried, which is the equivalent of 79 lorry loads.

RAP is created by removing old roads and pavements - it is then crushed and processed so it can be reused into new asphalt products. This reduces the use of virgin aggregate used in new products.

Once planings are removed from a site, they are transported by rail to Day Aggregate’s Brentford Depot where it is processed and transported back by rail to Aggregate Industries for use.

Thomas Edgcumbe, Managing Director of Aggregate Industries’ Surfacing Solutions division, said: “The use of rail to move RAP is an exciting development as it sees large volumes being able to be transported each time. This supports our drive for sustainability in the increased use of RAP whilst also reducing vehicle numbers on the roads. This is a huge change of concept that we are looking to grow further throughout 2024.

“Utilising what in the past has been a waste product and recycling it into new products is not only smart thinking but means we are preserving raw materials, reducing lorry movements by using rail and reducing emissions through less intensive production processes.

“But to make this a reality we need collaboration across the supply chain and we need the buy-in of our partners so it is fantastic to be working with Day Aggregates to transport and process the materials.

“Circularity in construction plays a huge part in our approach to sustainability and goes hand in hand with our drive towards net zero. By 2025 we are committed to increasing the use of RAP by 60 per cent.”

Processing of RAP taken from old roads to be recycled and used in new products.

Adam Day, Contracts Director at Day Aggregates, said: “Day Aggregates look to use rail transport for moving heavy freight at all opportunities. Reducing lorry movements as much as possible brings massive environmental and social benefits.

“This new flow makes a double win with the material carried being part of the recycled supply chain for our long term partner in Aggregate Industries. Collaboration and long term commitment from both companies has made this success possible.”

Aggregate Industries asphalt products contain a percentage of RAP including its cold-mix Foamix product which contains up to 92 per cent of recycled content.

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