Recycling Product News Logo

Recycled aggregates for roads

Some Ontario municipalities are underutilizing or avoiding its use, but industry groups are hoping to change that

0158/39337_en_0f428_41930_tarba-leaders-laggards-106-of-11.jpg

Company info

Municipalities are responsible for the care and maintenance of vast amounts of roads, from lanes to highways. When those roads are repaired or replaced, there's the potential to generate a significant amount of aggregate material - concrete and asphalt removed from the surface that must be dealt with.
Today's roadbuilding contractors are taking this material and recycling it more than ever before. However, research is showing that some municipalities are far better than others when it comes to using this type of aggregate in their roads - and some are far behind.

A study conducted on behalf of the Toronto and Area Road Builders Association (TARBA) has shown that Ontario municipalities are all over the place in how much recycled material they use for road construction, with some almost entirely eschewing recycled aggregate - a greener alternative to new material - on their projects.

"There's not a huge commitment to recycling aggregate; in fact, there's a reticence to use the product," said Rob Bradford, executive director of TARBA. "I think it stems from a fear of trying something new, thinking that something might happen - sticking with virgin aggregate has less potential for risk."

According to a study by a researcher from the University of Western Ontario, the allowable use of recycled aggregate across the region ranges from significant amounts in some large areas like Toronto, down to nearly none in Mississauga. Instead, according to Bradford, millions of tonnes of material are either sent to the landfill or into stockpiles. At the same time, those low rates mean that new aggregate must be trucked significant distances, burning fuel and generating greenhouse gases, and used aggregate ends up in the waste stream. 

Recycled aggregate means more sustainable infrastructure overall, Bradford noted.

"They should be doing a much better job, a much greener job, of recycling asphalt and concrete. They need to be a part of the solution, rather than part of the problem," he said.

The study looked at construction practices in five regional municipalities and 15 single or lower-tier municipalities across Ontario, conducting a survey regarding approved uses of recycled aggregate for a variety of situations. Results of the survey showed a broad range of standards in both road construction and subdivision work.

For example, the collected responses showed that some 50 percent of surveyed municipalities do not allow the use of recycled concrete and asphalt as 55mm aggregate for granular base and subbase for pavement. Forty percent allow partial use, and 10 percent allow for full use. The municipalities are even more restrictive when it comes to 19mm aggregate for granular pavement, with 55 percent not allowing recycled material, 35 percent okay with partial use and 10 percent allowing full use.

Ready-mix concrete is the most restrictive use for these municipalities, with 80 percent not allowing recycled aggregate use and 20 percent allowing partial use. On the other side, 50 percent of municipalities are okay with recycled aggregate being used for engineered fill, and 90 percent allow partial or full use for construction access roads, bicycle paths and similar construction.

Among individual cities, Toronto - the highest scoring municipality in the survey - allows recycled material for use in everything but engineered fill, stabilization of soft subgrades, Portland cement ready mix, and concrete for sidewalks, curbs and other uses within subdivisions. Some other uses are restricted, but for the most part full use is allowed.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Mississauga, which allows full use of recycled aggregate for construction access roads, bicycle paths and similar features - and only that. No other recycled product is allowed in any projects.

Recycled aggregate quality has greatly improved
Bradford suggested that disapproval of recycled materials in municipal policy may come from lingering concerns about quality - something that has improved greatly with the growth of the aggregates recycling industry.

"You have to ensure the quality of recycled aggregate - it has to be an engineered quality, it has to be properly processed and tested. Like any material, going back 10 or 15 years there are probably a couple of things that have stuck in peoples' minds from when it was used in the infancy of the industry where it didn't work out because quality control wasn't what it should have been," Bradford said. "If you're a consultant working for a municipality, or you're an engineer in charge of the roads department, that kind of decision is a risk - so, you play it safe and just specify virgin aggregate."

That trend of specifying new material creates many issues for contractors who have to manage the aggregate removed from jobsites, Bradford noted.

"The owner just writes off ownership in the contract, so the contractor has to find a place to get rid of anything that comes off that project. Now, if they produce recycled aggregate themselves, they will take it to their yard and pile it up. If they don't, they have to find someone who does produce it. . . or dispose of it in the landfill," he said. "The point we're reaching now is. . . [that] there's so much of the stuff now, they will have to start charging to take it in, and second, they're going to have to turn people away."

TARBA is encouraging municipalities to find ways of using more recycled asphalt in their construction work; one example Bradford pointed to is the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, which currently uses 20 percent recycled materials in its highway construction work.

"They've been very forthcoming about their commitment to reusing recycled aggregate. . . they're using tens of millions of tons a year - if you can put this material under highways that carry the amount of traffic that ours carry, then surely there's an argument for using it under a municipal street," Bradford said. 

Only about seven percent of the aggregates used in Ontario currently come from recycled sources, as opposed to European countries which use up to 20 percent recycled product, Bradford noted. That's a goal he said TARBA would like to see municipalities aim for.

"We are encouraging municipalities to use the Ministry of Transportation model. If municipalities have the same attitude and the same practices as the MTO, we as a province would be recycling close to the levels that we should be, and which are supportable from a technical standpoint," Bradford said. "There are Ontario provincial standards that look into the science behind this - what percentage of recycled aggregate you can use as a base course, or as a surface course, or on a bicycle trail. This has all been well figured out. We want municipalities to recycle the maximum allowable under the provincial specifications."

More from C&D Recycling

ShearCore's Fortress Cracker does double duty taking on primary and secondary demolition

ShearCore's Fortress Cracker is a primary demolition shear with the ability to do secondary demolition.
• Narrow Stick body for improved visibility.
• Removable isolated bottom cover provides exceptional access to all serviceable components.
• Unique pin retention eliminates weld-on cylinder pin keeper.
• Tight blade clearances allow rebar to be processed throughout the entire jaw length.
• Full-length side plates are machined from solid three-inch high-yield structural plate steel resulting in no weld seams.

First ZenRobotics AI-powered sorting system operational in California at Zanker Recycling

San Jose-based Zanker Recycling, a U.S. based specialist in construction and demolition (C&D) materials processing systems and recycling, in partnership with Plexus Recycling Technologies, the North American distributor of ZenRobotics, have announced that ZenRobotics' ZRR2 AI Robots are now officially operational at Zanker Recycling's San Jose site.

NPK demolition grabs efficient for sorting and recycling C&D waste

For use with excavators in the 11- to 44-ton range, these NPK grabs' high durability and low maintenance cost make them highly efficient for sorting and recycling C&D waste.
• High tension, special wear steel.
• 360-degree hydraulic rotation.
• They have a wide jaw opening and offer high closing force.
• Fully encased, easily accessible hydraulic components.
• Adjustable rotation speed and opening/closing speed
• Interchangeable and reversible cutters.
• Optional side covers and/or arm covers for loading activities and optional breaker plates for special demolition jobs.

Epiroc combi cutters serve up one-two crunch

These multi-purpose hydraulic attachments from Epiroc are for primary demolition and secondary reduction of concrete structures, as well as for cutting steel structures.
• For carriers 33,000 pounds to 188,000 pounds (16.5 tons to 94 tons).
• Two powerful hydraulic cylinders deliver constant closing forces with short open-close cycle times.
• Low noise, low vibration.
• 360-degree endless hydraulic rotation to allow optimal positioning and precise handling.
• Replaceable and reversible cutting blades with attachments that can be equipped with different type jaws.

NPK demolition tool crushes reinforced concrete with ease

For use with excavators in the 21 to 50 ton range, these attachments from NPK easily crush through reinforced concrete allowing for faster, more efficient separation of concrete and steel rebar for primary and secondary demolition.
• Abrasion-resistant, high-strength alloy steel teeth decreases wear and increases durability.
• Optional 360-degree power rotation for maximum versatility.
• NPK's exclusive hydraulic intensifier system provides faster cycle times while requiring less flow and pressure from the carrier when compared with units using larger cylinders.
• Bolt-on replaceable tooth plate on the movable jaw.
• "A" models also utilize bolt-on tooth plate on the fixed jaw.

Caterpillar multi-processors for a variety of specialized demolition tasks

These heavy-duty, high-production tools from Caterpillar accept multiple interchangeable jaws for a variety of specialized demolition tasks.
• Speed booster technology dynamically shifts hydraulic force from speed to boost mode automatically during operation.
• Maximum crushing/cutting force is applied as soon as the jaw contacts material.
• Compact design keeps centre of gravity as close as possible to the machine for more power, even on a smaller excavator.
• Most cutting blades can be flipped in two ways, to use four different cutting edges for more production time per cutter.

Superior and CMS Cepcor create partnership for crusher parts in North America

Superior Industries Inc., a U.S. based manufacturer and global supplier of bulk material processing and handling systems, says it has entered into a strategic partnership with Europe's largest manufacturer of aftermarket crusher parts. For 40-plus years, CMS Cepcor has manufactured premium crusher spares for more than three dozen active and classic brands throughout Europe. The parts manufacturer recently expanded its global footprint when it launched CMS Cepcor Americas.

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Watch Priestly Demolition demolish underground parking garage in confined downtown Toronto

Priestly Demolition is known for its tricky takedowns of old infrastructure in Ontario. Watch the company demolish a city-block-sized underground parking garage on busy Bay Street in downtown Toronto. Challenges include limited space for machine storage and need to keep roads clear for children's hospital emergency vehicle access.

New location to double production capacity for Rockster

Continuous expansion, high quality standards as well as short delivery deadlines made such a step necessary for the manufacturer of mobile crushing and screening machinery, Kormann Rockster Recycler GmbH from Ennsdorf. The acquisition of a 10,000 m² property in Neumarkt im Mühlkreis (Upper Austria) promises to provide a strong and needed force in a continuous growth and market demand.

KINSHOFER P-series orange peel grapples handle heavier loads and increase efficiency

KINSHOFER offers an extensive range of excavator orange peel grapples for scrap, demolition, loading and unloading applications. Unlike competitive grapples, according to Kinshofer, the P-Series hydraulic system is fully enclosed and protected, reducing the risk of damage to hoses and other components. Additionally, the grapple's unique tine design enhances material penetration, increasing the amount contractors can safely secure in one cycle and saving time on the jobsite. 

Versatility and mobility: an in-depth report on impact crushers

Impact crushers have broad appeal across various sectors and for good reasons. Our panel of experts provides insight as to why this is, plus information on the dynamic market for impact crushers in Canada, their applications and advantages, customization and options, as well as what to consider when buying an impact crusher.

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more

New Pitbull Grizzly screen an economical option for small- to mid-sized contractors

Lake Erie Portable Screeners introduces the heavy-duty Pitbull PB678 Static Grizzly. The compact screen is a smaller version of the popular PB148 for added jobsite versatility and pairs well with the Pitbull 2300 screening plant, making it an economical option for operations looking for a compact solution to sort oversize material on a reduced scale. The PB678 Static Grizzly includes features for easy bar removal or adjustments as well as transportability. It is ideal for a wide range of industries, including aggregates, mining, scrap, excavation, demolition, forestry and landscaping.

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Keestrack optimizes electric drive technology

Keestrack offers today the most versatile range of hybrid and plug-in solutions in mobile processing technology for quarrying and recycling applications. This applies to the complete product range, from screening plants and stockpile conveyors to mobile track-mounted crushing solutions of all relevant technologies and for all production capacities.

Brokk releases diesel demolition robot with 40 percent more hitting power

Brokk has introduced the Brokk 520D. Meeting both Tier 4 Final and Europe's Stage IV emission standards, Brokk says that the new machine is the most eco-friendly diesel demolition robot on the market. The 520D replaces the Brokk 400D, one of the first diesel models released, and comes equipped with Brokk's signature SmartConcept technology, boasting 40 percent more hitting power.

Powerscreen of Canada to show latest crushing and screening plants at National Heavy Equipment Show

Powerscreen is one of the world's leading providers of mobile crushing, screening and conveying equipment. Official distributors, Powerscreen of Canada will exhibit at the National Heavy Equipment Show in Toronto, from March 28-29th, 2019. Exhibiting at booth number 5004, experts will be on hand to talk crushing and screening and visitors will have the opportunity to get up close to a Powerscreen Chieftain 2200 screen.

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more