Recycling of Construction Materials

Éric Fortin – Université de Sherbrooke

Currently, La Plata’s real estate is developing fast and multiple construction sites are in activity all around the city. During demolition and construction, all materials are thrown away without separating materials that could still be used. This method doesn’t correspond to a vision of sustainable development.

Materials used to make concrete and bricks are often brought from afar, which implies long distance transport and high costs.

Instead, if materials were recycled, it would reduce the amount of materials sent to the landfill, and it would bring savings on raw materials and transportation cost.

502579420804977Open-air landfill where are sent used construction materials

An Argentinian house generally contains near 70% of concrete, bricks, sand and stone, 4% of wood and 3% of metals. All these materials could easily be reused or recycled. Wood can be reused without treatment, or it can be used to produce energy. Metals can be recast and reused endlessly. Bricks, rocks and concrete can be crushed and used as filling or to make recycled concrete.

The final objective is to make a realistic and cost-effective recycling system for construction material. Companies would use it to recycle most of the materials that would otherwise be sent to the landfill.

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