Recycled asphalt in Iceland

ReSource International ehf. Has been looking into the amount of asphalt waste that is produced each year in Iceland. According to The Environment Agency of Iceland, more than 42 thousand tons of asphalt waste was produced in 2018, which equals 116 tons per day, each day for a year.

The act of reusing is valuable. Asphalt is made of quality aggregate and bitumen which can be reused multiple times. However, it is clear that recovered asphalt is not fully reused in Iceland.

The Life Cycle Assessment was performed, where the results of four waste treatment scenarios were compared. The scenarios regarding recovered asphalt included: reuse in bound surface layers, recycled in sub layers, recovered to be used for landscaping or disposed of in a landfill. The results showed that it is most environmentally favourable to reuse recovered asphalt in bound surface layers, giving environmental savings connected to the 14 impact categories recommended by the ILCD. The least environmentally favourable in the comparison was to dispose of the recovered asphalt in a landfill.

Reusing recovered asphalt to a larger degree in Iceland would save a significant amount of environmental and economic impact.

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