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IRC, FHWA gear up for Materials Conference

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Federal Highway Administration (FWHA) Recycling Program Manager Victor (Lee) Gallivan has announced the speakers for the 2012 Industrial Materials Conference, to be held at the Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre Nov. 28-29, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind.

FHWA is partnering with the non-profit Industrial Resources Council (IRC) to provide this forum for highway engineers to describe best practices in the use of high volume recycled materials in sustainable pavement systems.

“DOT’s and other project owners are increasingly focused on how to build and maintain pavement systems that are both environmentally and economically sustainable,” stated Gallivan.

“Sustainable material choices can have a large positive impact on long-term pavement performance as well as project costs because materials typically consume up to 60% of a project budget. FHWA is sponsoring the Industrial Materials Conference to help state and local project owners comply with FHWA’s recycling policy while increasing their overall Sustainability footprint.”

FHWA’s Recycling Policy, adopted in February 2002, states that:

1. Recycling and reuse can offer engineering, economic and environmental benefits.

2. Recycled materials should get first consideration in materials selection.

3. Determination of the use of recycled materials should include an initial review of engineering and environmental suitability.

4. An assessment of economic benefits should follow in the selection process.

5. Restrictions that prohibit the use of recycled materials without technical basis should be removed from specifications.

IRC is a coalition of advocates for the reuse of industrial byproduct materials in the U.S. economy. IRC was incorporated in 2006 to provide a single point of contact for agencies such as FHWA.

According to Michael Blumenthal, president of the IRC and a vice president of the Rubber Manufacturers Association, “More than 600 million tons of industrial byproducts are generated annually, an amount roughly equivalent to the annual consumption of virgin aggregates.

“Industrial byproduct materials have been used in highway construction for decades but have not been uniformly accepted by state highway agencies. The goal of this conference is to showcase case studies and best practices that highway engineers and contractors can adopt in support of their overall sustainability goals.”

The 2012 Industrial Materials Conference will be co-hosted by the Indiana Department of Transportation.

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