The emphasis on sustainability has increased awareness of the high level of use of primary materials and the excessive production of construction waste.
There is growing pressure on producers and consumers to move towards more sustainable resourcing of construction materials by reducing the consumption of primary aggregates and switching to recycled or secondary aggregates.
Recycled Aggregates are derived from reprocessing materials previously used in construction (including recycled concrete and asphalt planings).
Secondary Aggregates are by-products of other industrial processes, not previously used in construction, (including pulverised fuel ash (PFA), steel slags, china clay sand and slate waste).
Only 70 million tonnes (25%) of GB aggregates usage is currently derived from recycled or secondary sources.
There is extensive further potential, not only to use the existing % volumes more effectively for higher grade substitution, but also to increase the volume being reused, reclaimed and recycled to reduce the volume of primary aggregate being used.
Such use has a secondary benefit by reducing volumes of recyclable inert material going to landfill, thus protecting the environment and optimising landfill voidspace.
Why go “green”?
Concern for the environment, difficulty in sourcing primary aggregates, increasing costs of transport and the advent of aggregates tax, all promote recycled and secondary aggregates as the natural solution.
The improved quality of recycled materials, their increased acceptability for high specification usage and the development of alternative products (including cold, foamed bitumen, products), now provide a real alternative to primary, ‘virgin’, products; whilst secondary aggregates are most suitable for low spec applications.
OCL help their customers to meet their environmental targets, by producing high quality, innovative, recycled products with a much reduced carbon footprint.