UK leads on construction aggregates recycling

25th June 2020


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Author

Anita Wymark

The UK is leading Europe on recycled and secondary construction aggregates - sources vital to building - amounting to 28% of total demand, according to <a href=https://mineralproducts.org/documents/Contribution_of_Recycled_and_Secondary_Materials_to_Total_Aggregates_Supply_in_GB_in_2018.pdf>latest research. </a>

Construction aggregates are essential for building housing, infrastructure, commercial and industrial buildings, utilities, schools and hospitals. Most are quarried crushed rock or dredged sand and gravel, but an increasing number are from recycling construction and demolition waste or other industrial processes.

A total of 180 million tonnes of primary aggregates were produced in the UK, of which around 71 million tonnes came from recycled and secondary sources, according to the Mineral Products Association (MPA). This performance makes the UK an international leader and well ahead of the European average.

Some 90% or 64 million tonnes of recycled aggregates originated directly from construction activity, through demolition work and road repairs.

The MPA says virtually all construction and demolition waste which can be recycled as aggregates is already being used in accordance with technical and safety standards.

“Our industry can be proud of the leading role it is playing internationally in maximising the recycling of construction and demolition waste as aggregates,“ said MPA economic affairs director Aurelie Delannoy.

“Taken together with the restoration of mineral extraction sites to beneficial after-use, the industry is delivering sustainable environmental results while others just talk a good game.

“Having achieved what is likely to be the most we can recover from the waste stream, the focus now has to be on moving recycled and secondary waste up the value chain, and accepting that around 70% of future demand has to be supplied by primary aggregates through the planning system.“

Image credit: Shutterstock

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