Over 90% of our roads and highways are made of asphalt. Despite steady growth in the North San Diego County population, in the last 25 years the number of asphalt production facilities have shrunk from seven, in 1999, to only one by February 8, 2008. OUR RECYCLED ASPHALT FACILITY IS NORTH COUNTY'S ONLY SUPPLIER OF THIS CRITICAL BUILDING MATERIAL.
With major freeway work occurring on I-15, I-5, SR-78, and SR-76, hundreds of thousands of tons of new asphalt will be needed in the short term. With the only remaining asphalt facilities located in South County below Miramar Road, and already fully subscribed for South County needs, North County is facing severe shortages and price increases.
Trucking asphalt from Riverside and Orange County only adds more trucks (and air pollution) to already crowded freeways. Moreover, asphalt has a short "shelf life" - it must be installed 90 to 120 minutes after being loaded onto the truck.
CLICK HERE to read the EGCA White Paper, "The Impending Asphalt Plant Crisis in North San Diego County".
In a recent study by the California Department of Conservation, described by Steve Bledsoe, president of the California Construction and Industrial Materials Association as reported in the San Diego Daily Transcript (9/14/07):
In San Diego, where sand mining is nonexistent and several aggregate facilities are slated to close in the near future, there is a 50-year demand of 1.164 billion tons of aggregate. However there are only 198 million tons of permitted reserves, equal to 17 percent of the total 50-year demand.quote [Download the full article here.]
Nearly all of our sand and most of the aggregate and crude oil needed for asphalt production must be imported from other areas, including Mexico and Canada. Importing and transporting raises costs significantly and adds to our freeway traffic congestion.
Over the past twenty years, every municipality has spent hundreds of thousands - even millions - of dollars installing and repairing asphalt in its roads, streets and alleyways. As these streets require maintenance, repair and replacement, municipalities can literally "mine" this wealth of asphalt, sand and aggregate lying there. These materials can then be brought directly back to the asphalt recyling plant to be used again.
Three decades of research and experience have proven that recycled pavement offers the same durability as pavement constructed with virgin materials, but with significant cost savings.quote (Source: National Asphalt Pavement Association, Publication SR-190) [Download the full report here.]
Weir's recycling facilities break up, grind and reuse this hidden wealth for the benefit of the environment and our communities. We keep this old product from ending up in landfills, reduce the need of foreign oil and additional mining operations, and we reduce the number of trucks on the road.
An additional environmental benefit: Our recycled asphalt stockpiles emit 70% fewer dust emissions (PM10) than virgin aggregate piles. (Source: Australian government publication, 1999)