According to the Asphalt Pavement Alliance, reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) can be recycled into the pavement that is as high, or even higher, in quality as pavements made of all-virgin materials. And, the same material can be recycled again and again; it never loses its value. The asphalt cement—the glue that holds the pavement together—retains its ability to function as glue or cement, so that it is reused for its original purpose. The aggregates (rocks, sand, and gravel) in the original pavement are also conserved.
It is estimated that recycling of asphalt pavements saves the American taxpayer more than $2.5 billion per year. It also saves thousands of acre-feet of landfill space each year.
Materials from other industries are routinely recycled into asphalt pavements instead of going into landfills. Some of the most common are rubber from used tires, asphalt roofing shingles, and steel and blast furnace slags.
Besides being used directly in new asphalt, RAP has been used as road base products, often mixed with concrete.