Aggregates are used in construction in incredibly large amounts, making them the most mined materials of any materials in the world. Looking at this you may wonder if there is a way to turn recycled materials into aggregates to offset some of the mining. Naturally, there are! Here are 4 recycled materials that have been made into aggregates.
- Blast Furnace Slag: When running a blast furnace, the slag created can be used as an aggregate. The product can be then mixed in with concrete which can lower the materials cost for producing cement. This is the largest source of recycled aggregates.
- Glass: Recycled glass can be ground up and turned into aggregate just like other materials. Glass has a few benefits in aggregate usage despite its limitations. One main benefit is that it costs very little. Making glass can be pricey but buying recycled and broken glass is much cheaper than mining aggregate.
- Plastics: While less common than the above two, there are certain situations where plastic aggregates can be useful. Recycled plastic is also incredibly cheap and is lightweight and can be mixed into things such as gravel roads.
- Aggregates: When placed aggregate has lived its life it can be torn up, crushed, and recycled for reuse. Why let all of the aggregate be torn up and put in a landfill? Since aggregates can be torn up and reused, it is very common to recycle it.
While many tons of aggregates are mined every day, there are many times where it is more cost effective to use recycled materials.