136-28.8. Use of recycled materials in construction.

(a) It is the intent of the General Assembly that the Department of Transportation continue to expand its use of recycled materials in its construction and maintenance programs.

(b) The General Assembly declares it to be in the public interest to find alternative ways to use certain recycled materials that currently are part of the solid waste stream and that contribute to problems of declining space in landfills. The Department shall, consistent with economic feasibility and applicable engineering and environmental quality standards, use:

(1) Rubber from tires in road pavements, subbase materials, or other appropriate applications.

(2) Recycled materials for guard rail posts, right-of-way fence posts, and sign supports.

(3) Recycling technology, including, but not limited to, hot in-place recycling, in road and highway maintenance.

(4) Recycled asphalt, provided that minimum content standards are met and the material meets minimum specifications for the project.

(c) As a part of its scheduled projects, the Department shall conduct additional research, which may include demonstration projects, on the use of recycled materials in construction and maintenance.

(d) The Department shall review and revise existing bid procedures and specifications to eliminate any procedures and specifications that explicitly discriminate against recycled materials in construction and maintenance, except where the procedures and specifications are necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the people of this State.

(e) The Department shall review and revise its bid procedures and specifications on a continuing basis to encourage the use of recycled materials in construction and maintenance and shall, to the extent economically practicable, require the use of recycled materials.

(f) All agencies shall cooperate with the Department in carrying out the provisions of this section.

(g) On or before October 1 of each year, the Department shall report to the Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach of the Department of Environmental Quality as to the amounts and types of recycled materials that were specified or used in contracts that were entered into during the previous fiscal year. On or before January 15 of each year, the Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach shall prepare a summary of this report and submit the summary to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources, the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee, and the Fiscal Research Division. The summary of this report shall also be included in the report required by G.S. 130A-309.06(c).

(h) The Department, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Quality, shall determine minimum content standards for recycled materials.

(i) This section is broadly applicable to all procurements by the Department if the quality of the product is consistent with the requirements of the bid specifications.

(j) The Department may adopt rules to implement this section. (1989, c. 784, s. 6; 1993, c. 256, s. 3; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 743, s. 9; 1997-443, s. 11A.119(a); 1999-237, s. 27.4; 2001-452, s. 3.6; 2010-31, s. 13.1(e); 2012-8, s. 1; 2012-200, s. 25; 2015-241, s. 14.30(u); 2017-57, s. 14.1(e).)