Tag Archives: pavement

The Number 1 Recycled Material in America is…

As you well know, recycling is a prevalent, and easy-to-practice form of environmental stewardship.  Use it, recycle it, and re-use it… it’s as simple as that.

In today’s world, recycling bins for cans and bottles can be found in virtually every public space, paper recycling is a common household process, and even CFL bulbs are recyclable.

But do you know what the most recycled material in America is, and has been since the early 1990s?

It’s none other than… Asphalt!

According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, approximately 99 percent of asphalt is recycled here in the U.S., weighing in at a hefty 62 million tons in 2010.

These are some impressive numbers indeed, and Associated Paving Contractors is proud to have been recycling asphalt since the ’90s when the process was still a fairly new concept.  Fortunately, many other paving contractors across the country have realized the environmental and cost benefits of recycling asphalt, and we hope that trend continues.

So the next time you drive down a road and look at the pavement, remember that you are part of one of the most successful recycling campaigns in history.

Will Stiffer Pavement Help Save Gas?

The online publication “Buildings” reported in May that a recent study from MIT showed that using stiffer pavement could potentially cut fuel consumption by 3% and save roughly $15 billion in gas prices per year in the US.  Plus, since the pavement would need to be made to be stiffer, it is likely to last longer, ultimately saving money in the long run rather than having to repave frequently.

In a nutshell, the reason for the reduction in fuel consumption is because the “softer” a pavement is, the more energy is needed to push the car ahead since the tires sink into the road more compared to a stiffer road.

We think this sounds like an intriguing study, and we will keep our eye on this development to see if new guidelines are set and if customers choose to go in this direction.

What do you think?  Your comments are welcome below…


In our last blog post, we talked about Philadelphia’s “Green 2015” program and how the City of Philadelphia aims to remove unused pavement in the City and install green areas instead.

An article recently crossed our desk about a related topic, and this time it was National Geographic’s take on Philadelphia’s Green City Clean Waters Program.”  The program was designed to better manage storm water runoff in a city with a sewer system that can get inundated when it rains, and subsequently draw pollution out to the Schuykill and Delaware Rivers.

This article is a good read for Philadelphia area residents, or for anybody who is interested in improving the way cities interact with the environment, as well as those of us who are into anything and everything pavement related(!).

One prime area of change that is touted in this article is the usage of permeable paving (also called “porous” or “pervious” paving), which is an asphalt surface that allows water to pass through it to the ground, while also allowing traffic to pass over it.  Permeable paved surfaces help to prevent streets from getting backed up with storm water during rain storms, minimize pollution in water runoff, and lessen the need for additional infrastructure to help move storm water safely from the streets.

And, on a side note, did you know that permeable paving was developed in Philadelphia at the Franklin Institute in 1977?   Pretty wild how things can come full circle.

And, on another side note and shameless bit of self-promotion, Associated Paving Contractors has experience with installing permeable paving surfaces throughout the Delaware Valley area.  If you would like to learn more about this innovative paving technique and how it may or may not be the right fit for your planned paving project, please feel free to give us a call at 215-672-8000 or email us today.  Thank you.

Philadelphia Pushing for More “Green,” Less Pavement

As you may have heard in the news recently, the City of Philadelphia is embarking on an ambitious plan called “Green 2015,” which has the goal of adding 500 more acres of green space to the city’s footprint within the next three years.  And no, this does not mean that the City will be going on an old-fashioned conquest to plunder land from neighboring towns by conquest like a Medieval land battle.  Instead, it’s addition by subtraction.

Anybody who has driven through inner-city Philadelphia can attest to the “concrete jungle” feel of many neighborhoods—in fact a study shows that 200,000 Philadelphia residents don’t live within a half-mile of a park or green space, as quoted in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article about the City’s green initiative.

To counter this, the City will be reclaiming large swaths of unused paved areas that can be found on vacant lots, in underused school playgrounds, and other such locations.

Breaking up these unused or underused paved areas provide many benefits, including:

  • Green spaces generally improve property values since families like to have them in close proximity to their homes for kids to utilize
  • Storm water inlets on streets can only handle so much water, whereas green spaces help absorb more water and enable it to filter it through the ground
  • Local residents can potentially use the new green spaces to plant gardens to grow fresh fruits and vegetables, helping to save money from buying groceries and enabling families to eat more healthfully

All in all, even though APCON is in the paving business, we appreciate efforts to maximize the usage of current and prospective paved surfaces and eliminate unnecessary pavement since green spaces have great benefits to the community and environment.  Kudos to the City of Philadelphia for recognizing the needs of its citizens by reclaiming unused pavement and we look forward to seeing the City’s pavement transformation over the next few years.