First published in the October 2023 issue of Quarry Management as Change for the Better
Delivering net-zero emissions, cutting energy usage, and driving sustainability have become integral to the way aggregate firms now operate. With a strong focus on addressing climate change and depletion of scarce natural resources, NRE Aggregates have recently commissioned a new, state-of-the-art CDE waste washing plant in Salford that will support the continued development of a circular economy in the North West and facilitate sustainable construction in Greater Manchester and beyond
As part of their ongoing commitment to help lead the construction industry to a more sustainable and zero-carbon future, NRE Aggregates – in partnership with materials washing specialists CDE – recently hosted an open day (12 July) to showcase a new cutting-edge construction, demolition and excavation (CD&E) waste-recycling plant at Port Salford in Eccles, Greater Manchester.
The event saw more than 200 visitors, including customers, suppliers, and industry professionals, come together to learn more about the 120 tonnes/h waste washing plant (designed and engineered by CDE) and how it is supporting NRE Aggregates to reduce waste-to-landfill volumes by extracting value from C&D waste materials.
With new buildings and infrastructure currently being built to sustainability principles, recycled aggregates have a key role to play in helping to position the UK as a leader in sustainable and responsible construction, whilst meeting its ambitious climate change goals.
During the open day, attendees were given an interactive tour of the new wash plant, highlighting the positive impact it will make across the Greater Manchester economy and demonstrating that closer collaboration and sharing ideas will not only help the aggregates sector reach government net-zero targets, but also drive sustainable transformation across the industry.
With the capacity to recycle up to 240,000 tonnes of C&D materials per year, the bespoke waste-recycling plant is helping NRE Aggregates to maximize the value of their feed material by producing a wide range of washed/graded recycled sand and aggregate products for the local/regional construction markets. These include: 0–2mm building sand; 0–4mm concrete sand; MOT Type 1; and 4–10mm, 10–20mm, 20–40mm, and 40–80mm sized aggregate.
‘Primarily designed for the processing of secondary raw materials, the state-of-the-art waste-washing plant will turn construction and demolition waste materials – one of the UK’s biggest waste streams – into high-quality sand, aggregate and clay products, which will be used to construct the UK’s first tri-modal freight facility (to be served by rail, road, and shipping) and distribution hub on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal, as well as other construction sites in Greater Manchester,’ said Nathan Loboda-Smith, customer relationship manager for CDE.
NRE Aggregates, part of Peel L&P, who deliver long-term transformational projects across the North West region, say the investment in the new CDE waste-recycling and grading facility at Port Salford is a ‘game-changing’ solution that will contribute to a circular economy, where natural resources are kept in use for as long as possible, the amount of waste going to landfill is reduced, and production of recycled aggregates is increased.
Peel L&P are part of The Peel Group – a leading infrastructure, transport and real estate investor in England, with assisting the UK in achieving net zero by 2050 at the heart of its decision-making. The group puts sustainability at the fore and has a vision to change the construction industry for the better, reducing the unnecessary loss of natural resources.
As this was a new venture for Peel Group, the firm wanted to seek expertise from an organization with similar values, as well as being experts in the field. Peel Group chose CDE as both companies advocate for greater use and adoption of recycled aggregates and shared the same purpose of creating a more sustainable and circular world, which underpins everything that NRE Aggregates are setting out to do with this key project.
Commenting on the partnership, John Peaker, associate director for asset and materials management at Peel L&P, said: ‘We strive to use the most innovative methods and techniques to provide quality recycled products. Working with industry experts CDE means partnering with the next generation of innovative thinkers, and we aim to continually improve and refine our methods to reduce carbon emissions and protect the future.’
The new CDE plant has been designed to meet NRE Aggregates’ operational needs, as well as site conditions, incorporating an R4500 primary feeding system, an AggMax scrubbing and classification system, an EvoWash sand-washing plant and an AquaCycle high-rate thickener with filter-press sludge-dewatering system.
The R4500 electric scalper with apron feeder delivers superior protection of the downstream process by maximizing product yield from the feed material. The unique construction of the VibroCentric drive removes unnecessary weight while delivering acceleration up to 5G for enhanced screening performance.
CDE’s advanced AggMax scrubbing and classification system combines pre-screening, scrubbing, organics removal, sizing, stockpiling, fines recovery and filtrates removal on a compact chassis. The integrated trash screen allows for the effective removal of organics and other lightweight contaminants, ensuring the production of the highest-quality final aggregates.
The EvoWash sand washing system is engineered for in-spec sands with hydro-cyclone technology and provides control of silt cut points to produce quality materials whilst delivering return on investment. It is also equipped with the VibroSync drive centre, which distributes power evenly across the full screening area and ensures maximum transfer of energy to material for increased dewatering performance.
The AquaCycle high-rate thickener recycles up to 90% of the process water for immediate re-use in the system. It is a single, compact unit that offers a highly efficient water-management solution that minimizes costly water consumption.
When paired with AquaStore – which receives recycled water from AquaCycle – the thickener system ensures that all water is reused all the time. CDE’s filter-press technology has also been added to NRE Aggregates’ C&D processing plant, increasing water recycling and further reducing waste material on site.
Another important issue for recycled aggregates operators is the health and safety of their staff, and the waste-recycling plant has been carefully designed for ease of inspection, maintenance, and repair to ensure a clean, safe and productive site. The new plant is also installed with CDE’s latest SmartTech technology, which allows NRE Aggregates to evaluate how their waste-washing equipment is performing 24h a day, seven days a week.
With the investment in CDE technology, NRE Aggregates are making significant inroads into the North West construction market by creating a sustainable resource for the future, reducing the amount of primary aggregates needed and decreasing the volume of waste entering landfill sites. Since commissioning, the new plant has recycled more than 100,000 tonnes of CD&E waste and is on target to process 240,000 tonnes in its first year of operation.
After NRE Aggregate's successful open day event, Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, was invited to the Port Salford site.
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