Recycling technology enables asphalt to be reused

Paving machine demonstrates how it can save money and lower carbon footprint.

Last week, in Hazelton, Pennsylvania, city officials were given a demonstration of how recycling technology could make asphalt reusable for patching potholes and they watched a Bagela portable asphalt recycler transform old broken asphalt into a fresh hot asphalt mix in a matter of minutes, which was then used on a cracked area of North Poplar Street that was in need of a patch.

The machine offers the city several cost effective benefits.

Frank Vito, a Hazelton highway foreman believes that if the city purchased one of the recycling machines, it would pay for itself within the year. According to Vito, the machine provides three key advantages.

The first is that it would enable Hazelton to use its supply of old asphalt, so the city would not need to purchase new material. Secondly, when the weather is warm, the machine can keep newly purchased asphalt warm for three days, which gives workers more time to spread the material before it hardens. Thirdly, the machine would allow for asphalt to be heated during winter months when asphalt plants are not in operation, a time when the city is forced to use other patching materials.

Moreover, the machine also works fast. In just seven minutes, it can recycle over one ton of recycled hot mix asphalt.

Hazelton is not the first city to consider the machine. About 10 other municipalities have bought an asphalt recycling machine. The purchase of the machine by these municipalities was made jointly via the West Side Council of Governments. However, the machine arrived after winter so it was too late to test it during the cold months. The machine was loaned to Hazelton by the West Side Council for the demonstration.

The money-saving recycling technology also benefits the environment.

According to a news release from Bagela, reusing existing asphalt lowers the cost of hot asphalt by as much as 80% and completely eliminates the need to buy cold mix for temporary winter repairs. In addition to saving money, the recycling technology is better for the environment and can help reduce a city’s carbon footprint.

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