It may sound surprising, but asphalt is highly recyclable. This saves on landfill waste and materials, and the resultant recycled asphalt can cost up to 10 times less than new asphalt, notes the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Recyclers make new asphalt by melting and recombining the pitch, sand and gravel that make up this driveway material. Community attitudes toward asphalt recycling vary, but homeowners do have a wide range of places to check. Recycling should be the first option, if possible; disposal in a landfill is acceptable if you cannot recycle your old driveway.
Call your town's Solid Waste Department to determine the preferred process for disposing of driveway asphalt. Some regions -- like Shelburne County, Minn., and Catawba County, N.C. -- allow homeowners to drop off asphalt for recycling. If you can get rid of the asphalt through your town, find out how you need to prepare it for disposal, where you take it and when you can drop it off.
Check with local asphalt companies who may be interested in reclaiming your material. They can melt it back down into components and reuse it, as Pawtucket Asphalt notes. Determine when you can bring the material by and what condition it needs to be in. For example, Pawtucket Asphalt accepts only clean material, meaning asphalt that has no cement, rebar or other materials attached.
Look for additional local recycling opportunities by searching Earth911 for asphalt recyclers (see Resources). Enter your zip code in the search box and type "Asphalt." Contact matching recyclers to determine their preferred process.
Pack asphalt chunks into the back of your boot, or rent a truck. The material is heavy and crumbly and can damage a car's interior. Drop the asphalt pieces off at your community recycling area, a local asphalt manufacturer or an asphalt recycler.
Bring your old driveway to your town's landfill if you can't find another place to take it. Large materials like asphalt take up a lot of room in landfills, so try to recycle if you can.