What are recycled aggregates?

Construction projects tend to leave a fair amount of waste. Surplus materials such as concrete, gravel, sand and asphalt can end up completely wasted and simply going to landfill. Recycled aggregates are a great way of using surplus construction materials in new projects. These materials could be previously used construction material that is being recycled, or material that was leftover, unused, after a construction project. Either way, by making them into recycled aggregates they can become extremely useful and affordable materials for new construction projects. 

In this blog, we will outline some of the key benefits of using recycled aggregates, as well as some of the most common ways in which they can be used. By the end, you’ll be equipped with everything you need to know about recycled aggregates. 


How are recycled aggregates made? 

The materials used to make recycled aggregates vary, but are mostly formed of crushed concrete and stone. At Hazell and Jefferies, we source the materials for our recycled aggregates from local construction sites, demolition sites and road repairs. We then take these materials, which otherwise would have gone to waste and most probably straight to landfill, and process them. 

The collected materials are refined to remove any unwanted elements such as bits of metal or wood which could be mixed up with it. What’s left is then crushed down to very small pieces, which can then be combined with other aggregates, such as sand, to reach the perfect consistency for the job it’s intended for. 


Why use recycled aggregates? 

There are lots of reasons to use recycled aggregates. This versatile, flexible and durable material can benefit you and your project in a whole host of different ways, whether you’re working in construction, landscaping, or DIY. 

There are a wide variety of advantages that come with using recycled aggregates, but these are the top three reasons to go for recycled aggregates in your project:


Be environmentally friendly 

We all know that recycling is good for the planet. Using recycled materials in construction projects, commercial projects, at home, or in any project which could use recycled aggregates, saves previously unused materials from taking up precious space in landfill. A staggering volume of waste material goes into landfill from construction sites, but by opting to use recycled aggregates you can do your bit to reduce that. Even the waste metals which are removed during the refining process can be recycled. 

Recycled aggregates are a much more sustainable option, and can help you to reduce your carbon footprint too. At Hazell and Jefferies we source our recycled aggregates locally, which also reduces the length of journeys required to transport it and so reduces carbon emissions. 

Using recycled aggregates also reduces the need for gravel mining and the production of virgin aggregates, which uses significantly more energy than the production of recycled aggregates. Gravel mining can be an extremely destructive process, consuming a huge amount of resources and destroying expansive areas of natural land, scarring the environment and displacing wildlife. By using recycled aggregates instead, you can avoid contributing to this damaging process and instead do something positive for the environment. 



Of course one of the main concerns when choosing materials for a job is how strong and durable they will be. There’s no point in choosing a material for environmental reasons if it won’t stand the test of time and will have to be continually replaced and repaired. Luckily, recycled aggregates are not just the environmentally friendly option. Recycled aggregates are also extremely durable. They are just as durable, safe and secure as standard, natural aggregates. In fact, in some cases, they can be even tougher and longer lasting. For example, recycled aggregates are more penetrable by water than standard concrete, which makes it a better option for soft or damp ground as it does more to avoid seepage. 


Save money 

As if the environmental benefits and durability weren’t enough, recycled aggregates are also cheaper than natural aggregates. The processes used to make them are less labour-intensive and use less energy which keeps production costs down and makes them a much more affordable option than virgin aggregates. At Hazell and Jefferies we also source our recycled aggregates locally, so transport costs are lower too. 

Despite the fact that recycled aggregates are cheaper than natural aggregates, you don’t have to compromise on quality. Recycled aggregates are just as reliable and durable and pass all the same checks, even with the cheaper price. 


What can recycled aggregates be used for? 

Recycled aggregates are extremely versatile and be used across a wide range of different projects. The excellent anti-seepage properties of recycled aggregates make them a great option for applications involving contact with wet or soft ground, such as a variety of bulk fills, bases and fills for road construction, foundations, drainage structures and pipe bedding. Recycled aggregates are also great as sand and topsoil in a range of landscaping as well as construction settings. 

Recycled aggregates can be used in the making of concrete and similar substances to be used for paving, pathways and driveways, as well as in larger-scale construction projects. 

Recycled aggregates are very versatile and flexible, so if you have an upcoming project which you think might be able to benefit from them it’s always worth checking. You can easily get in touch with us to ask for advice. At Hazell and Jefferies we have over 50 years of experience and are more than happy to put our knowledge and expertise behind your project. You could save yourself a lot of money and find yourself a durable and environmentally friendly material that does the job perfectly.

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