In this article we see the problem that rises between the innovator Dale Behnen, who wants to change the asphalt-road recipe in order to make it better to environment, and the Missouri Department of Transportation which has the particular standards and isn’t willing to change them.
Both of the sides has its own arguments which makes it hard to see who is right and who is wrong.
Behnen wants to use shingles torn from roofs as a key ingredient of the road-asphalt. She says that the implementation of her idea can decrease the landfill and therefore help the environment. But the idea didn’t come into nothing. Pace has come with a mix that was used to construct the half-mile private road for trucks. This experiment proved that there can be safe existence of such roads.
Now there is only problem for Behnen to convince MoDOT to allow tear-off shingles to be used in the asphalt. But MoDOT has its own arguments according to this issue. Is says that these shingles include the large volume of contaminants which highway engineers call deleterious materials. They can include asbestos, nail, and wood. Wood in this case becomes the biggest problem because it can’t be removed by magnate like nails or melt like plastic. Another argument for the MoDOT not to allow use of tear-off shingles is that the new type of road would cost only slightly less then the old one. The purification of the shingles would require teams of workers and expensive equipment.
Each of these sides can be doubted. On the one hand we see that Dale Behnen is fighting for the safety of nature but from the other hand it is obvious that she wants to make profit on this. The Brown, vice president at Pace, doesn’t reject that it would be very attractive to make some money on it.
Behnen in her final words says that she needs the markets for this product. So it is not actually clear if her motives are purely beneficial. From the side of MoDOT it is not clear if it really believes that the use of tear-off shingles could lower the quality of the asphalt or if it just doesn’t want to deal with this matter. MoDOT has many facts to approve the idea. There is already built road that proves that the idea works, and according to MoDOT’s words it can actually lower the costs of the production of the asphalt. If we will also consider the environmental aspect we will see that the idea is worth to be approved. As it is stated in the article the state of Minnesota is one of the heaviest users of recycled scrub asphalt. In the year 1995 the MnDOT issued specifications of using up to 5 percent of shingle byproducts asphalt mixtures. Later in the year 2002 MnDOT saw a potential for use of tear-off shingles and the University of New Hampshire’s Recycled Materials Resource Center approved funding support for continued research and development of used roofing shingles. Work began in July 2002 (Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance, 2004). Knowing the experience of MnDOT makes us think why it doesn’t work for MoDOT.
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