Increasing the Potential for Reuse and Recycling of Construction and Demolition Waste - A Case Study From Ireland

  •  Rosemary Byrne    
  •  Bernadette O’ Regan    


Ireland reports high levels of construction and demolition waste (C&DW) recycling, yet has conducted little research into the use of recycled aggregates. This study examines whether recycled aggregate can offer a viable alternative to the use of natural aggregate in concrete production.

The options available for the use of C&DW in Ireland are investigated together with the effect of recycled aggregate on concrete properties. The environmental impact of extracting and processing natural aggregates is compared to that of recycling aggregate, as are the cost and relative difficulties of reprocessing C&DW for re-use.

There is little incentive for the use of recycled aggregate in Ireland. It is not without environmental impact and the long-term durability effects on concrete are still relatively unknown. The material can provide a cost effective alternative to natural aggregate. Recycled aggregate is highly suitable for use in pre-cast concrete products where problems associated with ready-mixed concrete use are not an issue. Retained cementitious properties of the material can also be used to good effect in road construction. Designing concrete with end of life and reuse potential in mind may further increase acceptance of the material.

Recycled aggregate use in Ireland lags behind many other European countries, further difficulties may be experienced in gaining acceptance for a largely untested material in light of the recent pyrite controversy. This study may open the way for future research into greater use and the way in which policy could be utilised to fund such research and promote adoption of the material.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-0488
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-0496
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: semiannual

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