The production of concrete requires a significant amount of scarce virgin resources and is a process with a large carbon footprint due to the use of cement. Whilst concrete waste in Denmark accounts for more than 25 per cent of construction and demolition waste annually, recycling of aggregates from concrete waste has, at project scale, been proven to be technically feasible.
To address this climate and resource challenge, recycling of aggregates from concrete waste must be elevated to industrial scale production, while adhering to high-quality standards. The Danish EPA, RGS Nordic and Danish Technological Institute and a concrete manufacturer have established an industrial process for concrete recycling, including acceptance and classification of the concrete source according to technical specifications and hazardous substances status. The aggregate is crushed, sorted and washed to comply with EU standards. The process is fully traceable, from the origin of the concrete to its final use in new construction. As characteristics of the recycled aggregates deviate from virgin aggregates, a new mixture guide was developed, consequently leading to concrete properties differing from virgin aggregate concrete. To ensure quality, the technical challenges addressed were the presence of impurities from other materials as e.g., wood and plastic and the
uneven size distribution of the aggregates.
The outcome of the innovation project is a completely new product, recycled concrete aggregates, with higher resource and economic value as well as a reduced carbon footprint. The recycling of concrete secures use of high-quality concrete waste and reduces consumption of virgin materials.
RGS Nordic is one of the leading environmental companies in Scandinavia. We recycle and upcycle demolition- and industrial waste, clean industrial wastewater and clean contaminated soil and groundwater.
Contributors to this solution
Danish Technological Institute
Danish Technological Institute (DTI) is an independent research and development institute. We take an innovative approach to improving the competitiveness of business and industry, society and public life.
With more than 12,000 customers in 65 countries, we develop new knowledge through research and development activities in close corporation
Danish Environmental Protection Agency
The Danish Environmental Protection Agency is the national authority on environmental and nature protection in Denmark.
The agency is promoting a rich nature, clean water and air, safe chemistry, green production and circular economy.
Our core objective is to implement nature and environmental legislation, balancing the use of