Improving sorting techniques for building and construction waste

Until now, recycling platforms for collecting and processing building demolition
waste produced materials suitable only for use in road building. In response to a call for projects from the environment and energy agency with the help of Eurovia’s technical department, DLB tested new equipment designed to accept a wider range of materials and expand the recycling process to include production of aggregate for
concrete.

Different techniques were tested to optimise the sorting phase, taking materials standards into account. The aeraulic process which eliminates a high proportion
of potentially recyclable materials that are then sent to landfill, was ruled out. Conversely, a combination of hydraulic and optical (based on colour) sorting, generally used only for high value-added products, gave very convincing results.

The combination of hydraulic and optical sorting processes successively eliminated
the unwanted lighter materials, then separated crushed concrete from the mineral fraction not suitable for this use but which can recycled in road building. It responds perfectly to the goal sought and, more broadly to directives based on the Grenelle Environment Forum concerning recycling of building and construction waste.

Producing aggregate for concrete was awarded a Materials, Processes and Techniques prize in the Materials, Processes and Techniques category.

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