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What are the environmental benefits of CIR?
Exploring the Eco-Friendly Advantages of Cold In Place Recycling for Sustainable Infrastructure
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Cold In-Place Recycling (CIR) is an innovative method used in road construction and rehabilitation that offers several environmental benefits:

  • Reduced energy consumption: CIR eliminates the need for extensive heating of materials, as required in traditional hot mix asphalt methods. This significantly reduces energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Preservation of natural resources: By reusing existing pavement materials, CIR reduces the demand for new aggregate and asphalt, thus preserving natural resources.
  • Minimization of waste: CIR recycles existing pavement materials on-site, minimizing the need for disposal in landfills and reducing the environmental impact of waste management.
  • Lower carbon footprint: Due to reduced energy consumption, preservation of natural resources, and minimized waste generation, CIR generally results in a lower overall carbon footprint compared to conventional road construction methods.

The CIR process involves several key steps:

  1. Milling: The top layer of the existing pavement is milled to a predetermined depth, typically 2 to 4 inches, using specialized equipment.
  2. Recycling: The milled material is then mixed with an asphalt emulsion or foamed asphalt and any necessary additives to improve properties such as strength and durability. This mixture is processed on-site using specialized equipment.
  3. Placement: The recycled mixture is placed back onto the milled surface and compacted to form a new pavement layer. Additional compaction may be performed to achieve the desired density and smoothness.
  4. Curing: The newly recycled pavement is allowed to cure and set, typically through natural processes or by applying a curing compound.

Overall, CIR offers a sustainable alternative to traditional road construction methods by efficiently reusing existing materials and reducing environmental impact.

Tim Kenney
Chief Operating Officer
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