Quantitative assessment of environmental and economic benefits of recycled materials in highway construction

The benefits of using recycled materials in highway pavements was assessed quantitatively by conducting life-cycle analysis and life-cycle cost analysis on pavements consisting of conventional and recycled materials for a highway construction project in Wisconsin. Results of the analysis indicate that using recycled materials in the base and subbase layers of a pavement can result in reductions in global warming potential (20 per cent), energy consumption (16 per cent), water consumption (11 per cent), and hazardous waste generation (11 per cent) while also extending the service life of the pavement. In addition, using recycled materials in the base and subbase layers can result in a life-cycle cost savings of 21 per cent. The savings are even greater if landfill avoidance costs are considered for the recycled materials incorporated in the pavement. Extrapolation of the benefits to conditions nationwide indicates that modest changes in pavement design to incorporate recycled materials can contribute substantially to the emission reductions required to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions at current levels.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 138-42
  • Serial:
    • Issue Number: 2158

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01383171
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • ISBN: 9780309142847
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 22 2012 1:54PM