There are many reasons why concrete has been the most widely used material in the world for many decades now. The most advantageous characteristics of concrete can be listed as: relatively low cost, grand scale availability of its raw components, durability, workability, adaptability of form and relative fire resistance. But there is a price to pay for all these benefits, namely, the colossal energy consumption for the production of cement and the production of aggregates. To reduce this impact and achieve a more sustainable product, waste materials can be incorporated into concrete in the form of Recycled Aggregates (RA).
The RAPCON project aims in utilizing a waste which is derived from the building industry into a high added value material. More specifically, the residual concrete material from the transportation of concrete, as well as the production waste deriving from Latomia Pharmakas PLC other activities, is valorized as a raw material instead of being disposed in landfills which are extremely limited for the company.
At the same time the management of Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW) in Cyprus faces several challenges and appears to be underperforming, despite the fact that a comprehensive legislative framework concerning the management of CDW is in place since 2011 (with several new legislation, regulations and amendments following up since then).
According to legislation, actors in the construction sector (construction works contractors, demolishers, etc.) are obliged to organize CDW Management Systems (either single legal entity organizations or collective organizations with many participants) for the proper management of CDW from their operations. The CDW Management Systems are entitled to organize the whole waste management chain (from collection to final recovery, valorisation and return to the market of the recycled product.
In practice however, large quantities of CDW are illegally managed and as a result none of the above described procedures takes place. In the case of illegal CDW management, the whole load of CDW generated in the construction/demolition site is transported and disposed without prior planning or environmental permitting in natural sites (e.g. mountain sides, water courses, etc.) preferably in remote locations which are difficult to be detected by environmental inspectors.
The RAPCON project targets to use the concrete rubbles disposed in the premises of the company as recycled concrete aggregates (RCA) for the development of Recycled Aggregate Concrete (RAC). In addition, RAPCON will produce concrete with lower cost due to the existence of the raw material. The objectives of the RAPCON project are in full agreement with the strategic objectives of the RPF RESTART 2016-2020 Programme, which specifically states: the use of construction materials with high-added value, reduction in consumption of natural resources, reduction of the environmental impacts and increase of reuse of available resources since it is utilized a “waste” for the reproduction of concrete.
Since the target is the development of a Recycled Aggregate Concrete by utilizing a demolition waste the proposed innovative solution will:
- Protect the environment by preserving natural resources through recycling
- Reduce energy
- Reduce transportation costs
- Eliminate the need to dispose of old concrete in landfills that are being filled at a fast pace, especially in bigger cities
- Decrease the cost for concrete production, and the products can be considered a renewable resource in an urban area
- Last recycling CDW creates new job opportunities in a field that is not yet extensively exploited thereby turning demolition sites from a problem to a solution