Brookhaven Town Highway crews lay down recycled asphalt at Glenmere...

Brookhaven Town Highway crews lay down recycled asphalt at Glenmere Lane and Route 112 in Coram. (April 20, 2011) Credit: N. Epstein

Brookhaven Town Highway Superintendent John Rouse said Wednesday the town has begun encouraging bidders on paving contracts to use recycled asphalt -- part of a drive to save money while using environmentally friendly products.

Rouse and representatives from the Long Island Contractors' Association made the announcement on a potholed street in Coram, where they encouraged other municipalities to use recycled materials.

The town is considering a half dozen bids for paving contracts, all of which have promised to incorporate recycled asphalt, town officials said.

The recycled materials -- gleaned by milling the worn-down surfaces of roads -- is more cost effective than using new materials, Rouse said. The National Asphalt Pavement Association states that using 10 percent recycled asphalt can drive the cost of a paving job down by 8 percent.

"Certainly it's about aesthetics, certainly it's about saving money, but it's also about curb appeal and property values," said Rouse, adding that the lower cost of paving would make it possible to repair more streets.

Brookhaven joins several other Long Island towns -- including Islip, Hempstead, Babylon, East Hampton, Southold and Shelter Island -- to use a recycled asphalt mix for repaving, town officials said. North Hempstead uses recycled asphalt to fill potholes, a town spokesman said.

Babylon requires bidders to use recycled asphalt, and Islip encourages it, town officials said.

"It lowers the price a bit," said Shelter Island Highway Superintendent Mark Ketcham, adding that the amount of repaving in the town is dependent on the price of asphalt.

Brookhaven is budgeted to spend about $16 million on road repaving this year, Rouse said.

Marc Herbst, executive director of the Long Island Contractors' Association, said the town will get more out of its budget by using recycled materials. He said the use of recycled asphalt could "go a long way in making blacktop green."

With Denise M. Bonilla, Yamiche Alcindor, Mitchell Freedman, Stacey Altherr, Emily C. Dooley, Carl MacGowan and Aisha Al-Muslim.

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