What’s special about recycled aggregate?

As a developing country with numerous resources, South Africa has no shortage of recycled building material. Large-scale developments are thriving in our central business districts and suburban areas adds to our growing infrastructure – and growing dumping sites. The rapidly diminishing space we have for dumping building rubble, however, demands that our construction industry looks into sustainable and economically viable alternative measures.

In the past, construction projects avoided the process of attaining recycled aggregates and disposing of them correctly, too. But today, new methods of recycling concrete and separating alloys from rubble guarantee better material quality, setting of great improvement to our economic and environmental status.

  • Repurposed building material takes pressure off landfills and dumping sites near our cities and limits the need for rubble removal transit, giving us a key resource that development thrives in: space.
  • The additional building materials circulating in the market reduce the need for the creation of new materials, which regulates the market price, as well as the extent of our construction industry’s carbon footprint.
  • Recycled aggregate also absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide. As all concrete undergoes a natural carbonation process, the crushing of recycled concrete exposes areas of the material that hasn’t carbonated yet to atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Although the stigma that has followed recycled aggregates has been almost completely debunked, building contractors will determine the success of the movement on a nation-wide scale. When contractors can convince clients of the feasibility of recycled aggregates and the positive impact industries with sustainable business practice have on our economy, they contribute to the growth of our valuable infrastructure.

Here are 3 basic tips on how South African contractors should promote recycled aggregate best:

  • Give examples of successful projects where it has been implemented.
  • Understand and accurately explain the material’s compliance with building protocols.
  • Discuss the benefits with everyone involved in the project, placing emphasis on the client’s bank account and the longevity of the environment.