Forum builds foundation for action on aggregates
ACTION to stimulate greater use of recycled and secondary aggregates has taken another step forward following a successful first meeting of the WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) Aggregates Forum in London.
"The forum –– comprised of representatives from companies and organizations involved in the production, procurement, application and specification of construction aggregates –– has been established to secure the active involvement of stakeholders in WRAP’s aggregates programme."
"Following a briefing on WRAP’s progress to date, experts at the November 6 meeting were tasked with identifying the obstacles to increased uptake of recycled and secondary aggregates."
"Key among the barriers identified were: low awareness of standards and specifications for recycled and secondary aggregates; lack of demonstrable evidence on cost-benefit; absence of a readily accessible information resource; a shortage of locally available recycled and secondary materials; and the persistent myth that such materials were ‘second best’. Above all, however, forum members said regulators should ensure a clear and consistent interpretation of legislation."
"‘The level of agreement on these issues was remarkable,’ said Dr Liz Goodwin, director of materials programmes at WRAP. ‘Input from the attendees will be really useful in helping us to prioritize what we work on in the future.’"
Dr Goodwin said the views of the forum would be built into WRAP’s action plan for breaking down barriers to the further use of recycled materials. WRAP is already developing a web-based information service ––due for launch in early 2003 –– that is designed to assist industry professionals in making informed decisions on using recycled and secondary aggregates.
"Of the 214 million tonnes of aggregates used each year in the UK, some 50 million tonnes are already sourced from recycled or secondary sources –– but estimates suggest that a further 20 million tonnes of suitable materials could still be used."
"Jerry McLaughlin, economist at the Quarry Products Association and a member of the forum, said: ‘The construction industry is already two-thirds of the way down the road on the recycling issue but, as you strike out for more ambitious goals, the barriers are bound to become more apparent. This forum can heighten awareness of the issues, such as those surrounding regulation, that are not widely appreciated in the policy setting.’"
The WRAP Aggregates Forum will meet every six months at venues across the country.