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On The Road to Sustainability, Lakeside Industries Is Paving The Way

Sara Hoffmann April 22, 2019

                Edmund J. DeSmedt, a Belgian Chemist, laid the United States’ first asphalt road in 1870. It was merely a compacted sand-mix, but it marked the first use of a material that would quickly become a critical part of the world’s infrastructure. Today, 94% of all U.S. roads are paved using asphalt.[1] When it comes to sustainability, asphalt is one material that’s often overlooked.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, asphalt is the most recycled product in America, with over 80 million tons reclaimed and reused each year. Annually, this results in a cost savings of $2.2 billion for taxpayers.[2] Beyond the financial advantages, the use of asphalt has its own environmental benefits.

Materials that previously took up space in landfills now function as valuable components in asphalt. In total, the asphalt-paving industry saves nearly 50 million cubic yards (13,500 Olympic-size swimming pools) of landfill space each year by recycling asphalt.[3]

When just 20% of an asphalt mix comes from recycled asphalt, asphalt life cycle greenhouse gas emissions decrease by 14%.[4] Additionally, recycling asphalt means the need to mine, crush, and process new materials is drastically lowered. Because the asphalt cement and aggregates in the original pavement are conserved and reused, we can preserve valuable mineral resource lands for future generations.

Lakeside Industries is proud to be a leader in environmental sustainability. In 2013, we received a King County Green Globe Award for our commitment to using recyclable materials in our paving mix.[5] We strive to protect our local air and water quality by exceeding the stringent regulations in place and by employing best management practices.

The sustainable attributes of asphalt offer tremendous advantages by saving taxpayers money, reducing landfill volume, and ultimately lowering our environmental impact. The world needs asphalt; our schools, airports, highways, city streets, and many more depend on it. That’s why Lakeside is proud of our dedication to sustainably supporting the world we live in.

By Aubrey Mackenzie, Lakeside Industries Intern

Sources
[1] http://asphaltmagazine.com/how-many-u-s-roads-are-paved-with-asphalt/
[2] The Enviornmental Impact of Asphalt Plants. Special Report-206 2014-05. National Asphalt Pavement Association, Lanham, Maryland, 2017.
[3] Asphalt Industry Survey on Recycled Materials and Warm-Mix Asphalt. National Asphalt Pavement Association, Lanham, Maryland, 2016.
[4] Booz Allen Hamilton (2013). Analysis of Recycling of Asphalt Shingles in Pavement Mixes from a Life Cycle Perspective. Contra ct No. EPW07020. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, Denver, Colorado.
[5] https://www.kingcounty.gov/elected/executive/constantine/news/release/2013/April/green-globe.aspx