Graniterock’s rubberized asphalt landed at the nation’s capital this summer for a pitch to lawmakers by elementary school students from southern Virginia who want to see old tires put to new use.
Fifth and sixth-graders from Willow Springs Elementary School brought the rubberized asphalt samples to meetings with Senate and House of Representatives staffers to lobby them on productive uses of recycled tires, chiefly the production of rubberized asphalt for paving federal highways.
The effort was part of their Global Awareness Project.
One of the students’ mothers, Linda Kim, did some digging online and discovered Graniterock is one of the nation’s leading producers of Rubberized Asphalt Concrete (RAC).
She called the company’s asphalt testing manager Doug Lemon and asked if he would send her some asphalt.
Doug and his RTS team compacted rubberized asphalt specimens from the Highway 17 paving project, packaged them in individual boxes to prevent breakage and shipped them to the East Coast.
“It was rewarding to help these students with their project and it was great to see Graniterock’s asphalt in Washington, D.C.,” Doug said. “It’s important to spread the message about recycling old tires instead of dumping them in landfills.”
Graniterock uses about 2,000 tons of recycled rubber annually.
Rubberized asphalt incorporates ground tire (crumb) rubber into the hot mix. Crumb rubber is ground or granulated rubber particles derived from auto, light truck or other sources that use a high content of natural rubber.
Rubberized asphalt has many benefits as it is highly skid-resistant, quieter, porous and long-lasting in addition to being environmentally friendly.
“We are so thankful for Graniterock’s generosity,” Linda said. “We hope our representatives were listening.”