The Extreme Recycling of Asphalt project (download the documentation here) has set itself the same objectives as the Circular Economy, which, in the road sector, are to reduce the disposal of large quantities of milled material (also known by the acronym RAP Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement) from the demolition of old pavements into the landfill, and to save significant natural resources by placing recycled aggregates on the market.
Achieving these objectives – without having to give up performance – was the greatest challenge: it was possible to achieve what was set out, thanks to technologies that can also guarantee environmental benefits in terms of energy saving, reduction of atmospheric pollutant emissions and reduction of the carbon footprint.
The evident innovation inherent in the topics covered in the Extreme Recycling of Asphalt project is currently fully reflected in the document being prepared by the Ministry of the Environment concerning the Minimum Environmental Criteria for the design and works related to the construction, maintenance and functional upgrading of road infrastructures.
This document – which is part of the action Plan for the Environmental Sustainability of Consumption in the Public Administration Sector (i.e. National Action Plan on Green Public Procurement PAN GPP) – establishes, pursuant to Legislative Decree 50/2016 (Public Procurement Code), the minimum environmental criteria that Public Administrations must use as part of the procedures for the awarding of design services and works relating to the construction, maintenance and functional upgrading of road infrastructure.
The same D. Legislative Decree 50/2016 provides that the application of CAM in tenders will be monitored by the National Anti-Corruption Authority (ANAC) in order to assess the practical implementation of national public procurement policies and to estimate, where possible, the effects in terms of the reduction of environmental impacts.
The extent of the effects that will derive from the entry into force of CAM is testified by the debate that this document has generated among the professionals represented by Public Administrations and, mainly, by Construction Companies. If, on the one side, the innovative spirit with a strong environmental vocation that characterizes the CAM guidelines currently under discussion is more than appreciable, it is also true that there are many perplexities on the part of those directly concerned (especially on the business aspect, but not only) that should lead to a gradual application of these criteria during an adequate transitional period. These perplexities are mainly motivated by the need, dictated by CAM, to introduce innovative mixtures for which there is no adequate consolidated technical and scientific knowledge.
For this reason, the ERA project provides Pavimental with the concrete possibility of bridging this gap, making immediately feasible the technology transfer of the acquired experience to the routine workings in motorway and airport.