Welsh Assembly pours cash into recycled aggregates
The aggregates sector has reason to be cheerful in Wales, as the national assembly announced a cash boost just days after a fresh bids were invited for the latest round of grants from WRAP.The Welsh Assembly has announced it has earmarked £363,106 for a programme to reduce the amount of virgin material use3d by the construction industry.
The industry is well-known for the huge amount of waste it produces, churning out over 70 million tonnes in England and Wales every year.
A programme to reduce the amount of virgin material used in the The Welsh cash will be used to help those involved in the industry to identify and use recycling facilites rather than sending waste to refill.
The Developing Markets for Recycled and Secondary Aggregates programme will also identify markets for those materials and promote them in an attempt to elevate recycled aggregates above those made from virgin materials.
The cash comes just a week after WRAP announced a major new round of grants for the aggregates sector (see related story).
Carwyn Jones, Environment, Planning and Countryside, said: "It is essential to the economic and social well being of Wales that the construction industry is provided with an adequate supply of the materials it needs.
"However, this should not be to the detriment of the environment.
"To ensure that aggregate demands are met, it is essential that natural resources are supplemented with recycled and secondary aggregates.
"Wales has a ready supply of virgin material available.
"These aggregates are much cheaper than those in the South East of England, where demand outstrips the available supplies.
"This has made Wales an area where recycling has not been essential from a financial perspective.
"In the London area, recycled aggregate has been commonplace for at least 10 years.
"The high cost of imported stone has focused both suppliers and users of the need to use recycled aggregates.
"Major contracts, such as the widening of the M25 and extensions at Heathrow Airport, use recycled materials.
"We must, for the benefit of our environment, build upon the experience of these well established practices."
By Sam Bond