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The Sustainability of Reclaimed Asphalt as a Resource for Road Pavement Management through a Circular Economic Model

Dipartimento di Ingegneria, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Ed. 8, 90128 Palermo, Italy
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Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2234; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082234
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 13 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
The transition of the road engineering industry to a circular way of doing business requires more efficient and sustainable resources, energy, and waste management. The rates in which reclaimed asphalt is being recycled or reused in the asphalt mixture production process constitutes a crucial parameter in this transition. This paper aims at establishing a further step towards the combined circularity and sustainability of asphalt pavements, by introducing a framework for quantifying their Material Circularity Index. The framework is based on the methodology proposed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and accordingly tailored for the context of asphalt pavements. This study, thus, attempts to provide a thorough analysis of the Reclaimed Asphalt’s recycling rates and trends on a European scale and to identify whether the efficiency of the current recycling practices is adequate or not. Moreover, a case study has been undertaken in order to quantify the Material Circularity index of the asphalt pavements forming Italy’s motorway network, following the proposed framework. For representative and accuracy reasons, the Material Circularity index of wearing, binder, and base courses has been calculated separately, and the results interestingly indicate that the base course exhibits the highest rates of circularity. View Full-Text
Keywords: circular economy; material circularity index; sustainability; asphalt pavements; reclaimed asphalt; asphalt recycling circular economy; material circularity index; sustainability; asphalt pavements; reclaimed asphalt; asphalt recycling
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Mantalovas, K.; Di Mino, G. The Sustainability of Reclaimed Asphalt as a Resource for Road Pavement Management through a Circular Economic Model. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2234.

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