With sustainability now the norm in the construction materials sector, it comes as no surprise to learn that recycled and secondary aggregates are making an increasingly important contribution to the UK’s ‘green’ building practices. By reducing demand on primary aggregates, the production of construction materials from inert waste is helping the industry to not only become more sustainable, but also to fulfil its regulatory responsibilities and environmental aspirations.
The revised Waste Framework Directive – which requires EU member states to recover a minimum of 70% of construction and demolition waste by 2020 – will encourage further use of recycled/secondary aggregates and minimize waste from an environmental and cost‐saving point of view.
The increased volumes will also demand that advanced processing systems for the treatment of CD&E waste are more widely adopted in the EU, which is something that Peter Craven, head of Marketing at CDE Global, hopes to achieve with the CANDY project. ‘I think we need to look beyond the quantity and focus on the quality of the recycled materials that we produce,’ he said. ‘Many of the countries in the EU are well on course to comfortably meet the targets of the Waste Directive so we need to move on to the next level in terms of how we can extract maximum value from this waste stream and further enhance the quality of recycled products.’
Supported by the EU’s Eco‐innovation fund, the project is a partnership between Northern Ireland‐based CDE and German recycling contractors Feess Erdbau operating under the acronym CANDY – ‘CompAct, highly mobile, Next generation, CD&E waste recoverY system’. To raise international awareness of the project, CDE hosted a European open week event (16‐18 September 2014) at Feess’ Kirchheim recycling facility in Stuttgart, where potential customers, EU representatives, members of waste recycling associations and other interested stakeholders visited the demonstration site to watch the new technology in action.
‘The open week proved to be a resounding success and feedback from the delegates has been excellent,’ said Mr Craven. ‘It is only through the deployment of advanced waste recycling systems, such as the wet processing plant we have installed on the CANDY project, that we are able to increase awareness about the high‐value recycled products that can be produced.’
Before the CDE processing plant was installed at Kirchhiem, around 10% of the overall demolition waste collected on site could not be recycled as it was a mixture of demolition and excavation waste (from building foundations). With the CANDY project up and running, the waste material is being processed successfully resulting in reduced waste from demolition contracts and increased volumes of recycled sand and aggregates for reuse.
A variety of materials are currently being processed through the washing plant, including C&D waste from the demolition contracts carried out by Feess, and excavation waste from the numerous groundworks projects that the company is involved in.