RAPPER'S 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 being recycled and reused as part of Aggregate Industries’ commitment to the circular economy.
Asphalt Plants, Equipment & Applications / March 19, 2024
By Guy Woodford
Aggregate Industries works with Day Aggregates to transport and process 40,000 tonnes of RAP a year. Pic: Aggregate Industries

The major UK building materials supplier works with Day Aggregates 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 in West London to Crawley, West Sussex. 1,500 tonnes, the equivalent of 79 lorry loads, were carried. 


RAP is created by removing old roads and pavements. It is then crushed and processed for reuse in new asphalt products, reducing the use of virgin aggregate.

AI and Day
The creation of RAP (reclaimed asphalt pavement). Pic: Aggregate Industries


Once planings are removed from a site, they are transported by rail to Day Aggregate’s Brentford Depot, where they are 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.

Thomas Edgcumbe, MD of Aggregate Industries' Surfacing Solutions division. Pic: Aggregate Industries 


“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.”


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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