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How To Recycle Asphalt

Asphalt is the pavement of choice for roads in North America: it covers over 90% of our streets. Asphalt is quick to pave, easy to maintain, and highly versatile. It can even be recycled using portable plants for increased cost savings on future paving projects! Let’s dig into how this recycling process works and the portable plants that make it happen. 

What Is Asphalt?

Before we dive into the recycling process, there is something we need to clear up. The term “asphalt” is often used ambiguously, similar to the way many people use the term “cement” when they really mean concrete

Technically speaking, asphalt is a sticky, black, and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum. This liquid is the heaviest part of petroleum crude oil. It’s the material left over after all the other petroleum-based products, like gasoline, are distilled off. Mixing asphalt with aggregate turns it into asphalt concrete, the material used to pave our roads. 

People use the term asphalt to identify both the liquid and the concrete mixture. To avoid any confusion here, we will be using both the terms “liquid asphalt” and “asphalt concrete” to properly identify the relevant materials. 

How Is Asphalt Recycled?

There are a number of ways through which asphalt can be recycled, the most common being a hot mix asphalt (HMA) recycling process. 

The first step in the process is ripping up and crushing old roads or asphalt concrete material. This new aggregate product is then screened for sizing. This step is crucial as the amount of material below ¼” is where most of the liquid asphalt can be recovered. Effective crushing and screening of fine asphalt material can double the amount of liquid asphalt recovery from 5 to 10%.

The recovered asphalt material is then mixed with new stone and fresh liquid asphalt to make new asphalt concrete for paving. Up to 50% of recycled asphalt material can be used in this mixture.

The recycled asphalt concrete that isn’t used for making new asphalt concrete can be repurposed for use as a road base or creating well-draining gravel parking lots, access roads, and driveways. This is similar to how recycled concrete can be used. 

At Carminex, we’ve built portable impactor plants to crush and screen asphalt concrete on-site to eliminate expensive transportation costs. These plants have quick set-up and tear-down times to allow frequent movement between yards, and function as a complete plant on a single road portable chassis. 

What Are The Benefits Of Recycling Asphalt?

The major benefits of recycling asphalt are the cost savings and environmental advantages. Recycled asphalt is cheaper to produce, and more readily available versus new asphalt mixtures.

In places like Ontario, the cost savings come from reusing the liquid asphalt since aggregate is readily available. In other areas like the southern US, the cost savings are driven by reusing the asphalt stones since aggregate material isn’t locally available and transport costs for new aggregate are very high.  

Proper crushing and screening are critical to producing valuable recycled asphalt material. That’s why we only carry the best Sepro aggregate equipment along with quality Hewitt Robins™ parts. We also have experience building a wide variety of portable plants to deliver excellent cost-saving solutions to our customers. To find out how we can help with your next aggregate recycling project, give our experts a call at +1.450.922.0900.

Recycle Your Aggregate Onsite With A Portable Plant

Having a portable plant built to recycle concrete and asphalt aggregates is becoming more common as industry standards on energy consumption tighten. It’s also more cost-effective to crush concrete and asphalt on-site versus loading and hauling the resources from your construction area or quarry. At Carminex, we have the experience necessary to mount any portable impactor to a custom built plant for effective mobile aggregate recycling.

Lower Your Energy Consumption

The days of trucking used concrete to landfills are over. Recycling concrete for future projects is now the norm. Instead of loading and hauling your aggregate away to a recycling centre, which increases fuel consumption and pollution levels, we can create an electric, portable impactor plant. This system reduces emissions and operational costs, while creating a reusable concrete or asphalt aggregate.

Difficulties In Recycling Aggregate

Recycling concrete or asphalt can only be achieved if all of the impurities are removed. There cannot be any metal or steel such as rebar left in the feed. Our plants are built with powerful filtering magnets onboard, to rid the construction material of contaminants before crushing. If large metal pieces find their way into the impactor, it could become damaged. Carminex’s portable impactor plants make sure this doesn’t happen.

Finding parts for your mobile plant can also be a challenge should a piece of equipment onboard need maintenance. Carminex has Hewitt Robins™ parts and equipment for our portable plants in stock to limit any equipment downtime that may occur.

Sorting your recycled concrete or asphalt after processing is another difficulty posed to portable plants. With Carminex, you won’t need to purchase any other extra conveyors or screens; we build them right into your mobile plant. It’s an all-in-one mobile solution.

Creating Your Portable Solution

We’ve been building mobile solutions for aggregate companies for decades. We have the parts, equipment, and experience necessary to build you a safe and functional piece of equipment. Our portable plants can use Sepro, OEM, or any customer-supplied screening or crushing equipment. They are easy to maintain, quick to setup and teardown, making frequent moves between yards quick.
To speak with an aggregate expert about your next portable plant, contact us at 1.450.922.0900.

Our Current Portable Plant Projects


Do you need a portable plant? Carminex has the means to supply you with exactly what you need.

Founded in 1993 in Quebec, Canada, Carminex has grown to a global organization working on mining and quarry projects around the world. As part of our mission to provide flexible solutions, we’ve developed a wide range of portable plants that we build for our clients, no matter where they are located.  For instance, one of the most recent projects we are working on is in Indonesia.

Why Indonesia?

The mining sector has been one of the key sectors supporting Indonesia’s economic growth for a number of years. The industry makes a significant contribution to Indonesian GDP, exports, government revenues, employment, and perhaps most importantly, the economic development of the remote regions where mining operations are located. This is precisely where our portable plants are the most useful.

Data from the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board shows Canadian investment in Indonesia for the period of 2005 up to 2011 consisted of 37 projects worth US$157 million. A major sector both by the number of projects and investment value is the mining industry.

Indonesia is not like any ordinary country. Indonesia consists of more than seventeen thousand islands, although some a very large, and densely populated, others are small and uninhabited. Some mines and quarries create logistical challenges to setting up aggregate equipment making mobility a priority. Many quarry owners are looking at portable equipment as a cost-savings option when they have multiple locations, since they only need one crushing system and can move the equipment from place to place for crushing and stockpiling inventory.

What Plants Are We Building?

For a current project in Indonesia, we are building a Grizzly King Jaw Plant. These plants make mobile crushing safe and simple. Quick setup and teardown times maximize efficiency, and when mounted with a Grizzly King Jaw Crusher your mobile plant has added benefits of:


  • Fewer pinched-out rocks and a more positive bite thanks to longer than conventional jaws.
  • High production tonnage, up to 982 tph.
  • Non-choking jaws that outproduce other crushers, reducing recirculation.
  • Sturdy construction and reliable service providing years of value.

At Carminex we specialize in creating portable plants and Hewitt Robins™ equipment. Our team of experts are dedicated to finding and building the right product for each client, based on their specific requirements.

When portability is key to your aggregate or quarry project, Carminex has the solution. Our efficient portable plants can improve your productivity and bottom line. To get a quote on a mobile solution for your next project give us a call at 1.450.922.0900 or send a message to our aggregate experts.