Concrete Recycling - Investigating future technological possibilities for reusing/recycling concrete

Dorthe  Mathiesen

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Old demolished concrete structures with reinforcement sticking out.

Concrete Recycling - Investigating future technological possibilities for reusing/recycling concrete

Project start July 2014. Completed 2014.

Summary

At present, more than 90% of all concrete waste in Denmark is recycled as unbound layers in road constructions, replacing natural gravel material or soil. These numbers put Denmark, together with few EU countries, at the top of the concrete recycling percentage rates in Europe. Despite that, there exist a need for rethinking concrete recycling from a sustainability perspective. Hence, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency has issued a report on concrete recycling in Denmark. Specifically, the main objective was to investigate and discuss current and future technological possibilities to reuse and recycle concrete in order to establish whether concrete waste may be reused/recycled in a more sustainable way in the future. The investigation carried by The Danish Technological Institute identified examples of alternative ways to reuse and recycle concrete in Denmark and abroad. This is because today’s concrete waste recycling approach (i.e. concrete rubbles used in road constructions) is an efficient and highly accepted method. If concrete should be recycled for other purposes than road construction, it would be necessary to develop new designing concepts and technologies. Altogether, the findings from this investigation can serve as inspiration for future development of concrete recycling and reuse.

Project objectives

  • Determine and discuss the current and future possibilities for concrete recycling
  • Analyze alternatives for concrete recycling with respect to energy, environmental, and economic consequences.
  • Draft of a proposal regarding norms and standards to ensure the future use of alternative methods for concrete recycling 


Participants:

  • Danish Environmental Protection Agency, DK
  • Danish Technological Institute, DK
  • Rambøll, DK

Project followers:

  • Copenhagen Municipality, DK
  • Danish Competence Centre on Waste, DK
  • Danish Concrete Association, DK
  • Danish Construction Association, DK
  • Danish Energy Agency, DK
  • Danish Road Directorate, DK
  • Danish Precast Concrete Association, DK
  • Danish Society for Nature Conservation, DK
  • Danish Waste Association, DK
  • Lendager Architects, DK