Australia launches field trials for recycled concrete

Australia's first field trial of commercially batched premix concrete made with 100% recycled concrete aggregate, began at Werribee foreshore in Victoria during May 1999.

The recycled premixed concrete has been laid as a section of bike-path which will be tested as part of a programme to develop specifications for day-to-day use of the product in the building industry for non-structural applications.

This is the first time in Victoria that recycled concrete has been used for applications such as bike paths, kerb and channels, and footpaths. Other uses may include concrete slabs for residential housing and driveways.

The project, funded by EcoRecycle Victoria, and supported by Victoria’s largest concrete recycler, Alex Fraser Australia, is intended to prove the performance of recycled concrete and to demonstrate its use to the community and engineers and contractors in the construction industry.

EcoRecycle Victoria is a State Government agency working with industry to reduce waste. Chief Executive of EcoRecycle Victoria, Ian Coles says, “Preliminary test results show that the recycled concrete compares well with the reference concrete”. “If the findings reach expectations, we will provide the market with an exciting new product.”

More than 750,000 tonnes of concrete is recycled annually in Victoria. This figure is growing with an increasing market acceptance for recycled products. Construction and demolition waste makes up around 40% of total waste (estimated to be about 14 million tonnes annually) going to landfill with concrete a major contributor.

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