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International Literature Review on the Regulation of Reclaimed Asphalt Paving in 10 EU Countries

In 2018, Sweco conducted a review for the Southern Waste Region, which encompasses the local authorities of Carlow, Clare, Cork City, Cork County, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick City & County, Tipperary, Waterford City & County and, Wexford. The review looked at how EU countries manage and regulate Reclaimed Asphalt Paving (RAP) or asphalt road plainings. RAP is produced through the milling of the surface and subsequent demolishing of the surface course.

Facts & Figures

Southern Waste Region
September 2018 – December 2018
Primary services
Environmental compliance | Circular economy | Resource management

Project Overview

The objective of the study was to document best practice from ten other EU countries on how this material is managed in line with the following provision of the Waste Framework Directive:

  1. Controls on the management of this material when it is regarded as a waste
  2. When it has been recovered sufficiently to satisfy so-called end-of-waste (EoW) status (Article 6 of the Waste Framework Directive), and
  3. When it is to be regarded as a by-product (Article 5 of the Waste Framework Directive)

This international review confirmed that, depending upon the chemical composition, quantity, site-specific and risk perception factors, secondary asphalt can be managed by three different routes:

  1. It may be defined as a waste and thus is subject to both EU and national waste management controls but may also be subject to exemptions when certain defined criteria are met
  2. It may be regarded as a by-product and therefore not fall within waste management controls
  3. Finally, the proportion of this material that is regarded as a waste may become sufficiently recovered through processing to attain End of Waste (EOW) status, with the result that the material passes out of a country’s waste management regime and into the EU-regulatory system that affects all products in line with the objectives of a circular economy

Recommendations were drawn from this discussion relating to how this material could be regulated in Ireland, with particular regard to the circular economy.

This project was achieved in collaboration with our Sweco colleagues in the UK and Ireland as well as the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland. It was led by Maeve English, Francesca Bell and Gail Currie.

The Southern Waste Region submitted the report to the Environmental Protection Agency for consideration in the development of national End-of Waste criteria for RAP which is currently a significant waste stream for the region.