According to this jolly article, concrete is just as recyclable as asphalt, easy to maintain, requires almost no maintenance, etc, when it comes to pavement. I realize the guys who wrote the article have a vested interest in the affair. However, I've always thought concrete was a much healthier option in every possible sense.

So far, the only disadvantage I've been able to find in my very superficial research is that when maintenance is due, an entire block of concrete has to be replaced, while asphalt will take as many patches as necessary, of any size.

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    Patching asphalt does generally increase the roughness, which is particularly a problem on high speed roads (eg 100km/hr) as a rough road is less safe (and less comfortable, and more noisy). Dec 22, 2015 at 9:05
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    Compulsory watching: Sand Wars.
    – Earthliŋ
    Dec 23, 2015 at 9:31
  • You have very quickly marked an answer as the 'correct' one, although it only mentions two aspects of sustainability. It is usually better to wait longer. Maybe other people have more to add about energy and raw material use, CO2 emissions, leaching of chemicals, etc
    – user2451
    Dec 29, 2015 at 12:19
  • 5% of CO2 emissions comes from concrete. See youtube.com/watch?v=eofV6li8GPc
    – user2451
    Dec 30, 2015 at 12:00
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    I came here wondering the same thing... sadly the answers are incomplete. I am choosing between asphalt and concrete for a driveway soon and want to make the best choice.
    – LShaver
    Nov 2, 2018 at 2:34

1 Answer 1


Concrete is rigid, whereas asphalt is flexible to a certain degree. If ground movement is significant concrete break into awkward slabs while asphalt can be more accommodating of ground movements.

Additionally, nature can't do much with concrete. An unutilized asphalt pavement can more easily be absorbed by nature with plants breaking up the asphalt with their roots. Weeds can easily establish themselves on an unused asphalt pavement. As long as the seeds aren't crushed and allowed to develop their roots can penetrate asphalt. The same doesn't happen with concrete.

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