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Issue No 1



Welcome to the Construction Recycling Alliance’s very first newsletter. The CRA is an independent umbrella organisation that seeks to represent those companies within the construction industry who are dedicated to reducing, reusing and recycling unwanted materials. Since launching at the end of 2010, the CRA has been received favourably by companies and individuals from across the construction sector. Membership levels have been buoyant, with both large and small companies successfully signing up. One of the key remits of the CRA is to showcase member innovation and excellence in relation to reducing, reusing and recycling unwanted materials. In this edition the CRA takes a closer look at some of the innovative environmental activities our members undertake in the road surfacing and utility sectors. Other stories include highlighting innovations amongst manufacturers of plastic-based construction products as well as information relating to material exchange portals and subsidised finance for recycling equipment. Being the first CRA publication, the newsletter is designed to be succinct and informative. With environmental considerations affecting nearly every facet of the construction sector, the CRA will continue to produce regular newsletters that cover relevant topics, ensuring the ongoing support of our members and assisting with the task of reducing, reusing and recycling unwanted materials. Please enjoy. – David Barnes, CRA Director

Construction Recycling Alliance launches Approved Supplier scheme. The Construction Recycling Alliance (CRA) is seeking approved suppliers who can offer environmentally-sound products and services to its members. Companies supplying products to the construction industry made from recycled materials are eligible, as are manufacturers of recycling equipment. Enterprises undertaking supportive roles in recycling such as consultancy and training are also welcome. Companies applying for Approved Supplier status are subject to assessment in order to ensure their products or services can assist CRA members with reducing, reusing and recycling unwanted material. Commenting on the launch of the Approved Supplier scheme, CRA Director David Barnes said, “When the CRA launched in 2010 we had a fantastic response from across the construction sector. Amongst those expressing an interest were companies who supply products made from recycled materials as well as those manufacturing and distributing recycling equipment. Given this, we thought companies should have the opportunity to apply for an Approved Supplier accreditation and benefit from having their equipment and services showcased to our members and the wider construction industry.

Copyright © Construction Recycling Alliance 2011. CRA newsletter is published by and remains the property of the Construction Recycling Alliance.

Recycling roads with FM Conway


oad planings arising from the resurfacing of

workable size, typically 20mm to dust, the material is

roads and motorways have traditionally been

then fed into the company’s new £7m asphalt plant.

landfilled. More recently, road planings have

The new plant benefits from dual heating drums

been recycled in small amounts for use as type 1 sub

which allow both recycled and primary materials to be

base material or for conventional asphalt production

heated in parallel and then mixed together at the end

as cold Reused Asphalt Product (RAP). Despite these

of the process. This ingenious set up allows the ratio

applications, extensive road resurfacing operations

between recycled and primary aggregates being used

in large conurbations continue to create a surplus of

in the creation of asphalt to be increased well beyond


conventional asphalt plants. According to General

CRA member FM Conway has recently invested in a

Manager Tim Metcalf these dual heating drums are key to

new asphalt plant to exponentially increase the reuse of

the plant’s capabilities, “Traditionally RAP is added cold

its road planings, thereby removing the need to dispose

to hot primary aggregates. When doing so the primary

of the material in expensive and unsustainable ways. By

aggregate has to be super-heated to compensate for

increasing its recycling capabilities the company has

the temperature loss resulting from the addition of the

also reduced its reliance on finite aggregates.

cold RAP material. Because of this, typical asphalt plants

The new plant, located in Erith, Kent is ideally placed

only tend to accept 10% RAP. As our plant can heat both

to handle the continuous flow of road planings that arise

the RAP and the primary material simultaneously, the

from FM Conway’s resurfacing operations in and around

recycled material can be introduced as hot RAP and as

London. These road planings are initially crushed and

a result there is no heat loss with the end product. The

screened in a conventional fashion. Once reduced to a

process therefore allows us to increase the amount

of RAP we can use according to material specifications and clients’ requirements”. As with any recycling process, FM Conway undertakes regular testing and evaluation of all materials as they pass through the process. Such tests ensure the endproduct is consistent and performs as well as a primary aggregate-based equivalent. With the new plant capable of producing well over 400,000 tonnes of asphalt per year, FM Conway is well placed to negate the dual costs of producing asphalt solely from primary aggregates which are sourced from far afield and disposing of road planings through landfill or to users outside the Capital’s boundaries.

F M Conway Ltd Conway House, Rochester Way Dartford, Kent, DA1 3QY 020 8636 8822

Plastic fantastic – EcoSheet The UK construction industry uses over 771,000 tonnes of plastic every year. Currently only 9 percent of plastic waste from the sector is recovered or recycled with the remainder landfilled or incinerated. Despite these figures, plastics are increasingly used by the construction industry for packaging goods and materials as well as for manufacturing pipework, insulation, wall coverings and window frames. With low recycling rates and increasing usage levels, 2K Manufacturing Ltd is determined to improve plastic’s poor environmental track record by manufacturing products from unwanted plastic that can be put to good use by the construction industry.


very year 25 million plywood sheets are used by the construction industry for boarding and signage purposes, with much of the plywood sourced from unsustainable resources. After being used once, the plywood sheets are typically landfilled. At the same time, 91% of all plastic waste produced by the construction sector is also landfilled. For those companies seeking to reduce the use of unsustainably-sourced plywood and also divert both plywood and plastic away from landfill, Luton-based, 2K Manufacturing Ltd currently offers a credible, environmentally friendly alternative in the form of EcoSheet. EcoSheet is a relatively new product made entirely from low grade waste plastics and can be used instead of plywood to provide site hoarding. It can be installed and removed many times over before reaching the end of its working life and once no longer usable, it can be recycled into new sheets by 2K Manufacturing Ltd. On top of the environmental benefits offered by

EcoSheet, the product also offers enhanced properties when compared to its incumbent wood-based counterpart, plywood. It is impervious to rain and humidity and can be stored outdoors and jet-washed between uses. It doesn’t need painting to be protected but can be painted if required. The plastic can be cut using conventional tools and easily repaired. EcoSheets come in standard sizes

and can be produced in corporate colours if required. Last year 2K Manufacturing Ltd reprocessed 30,000 tonnes of low grade waste plastic which would otherwise have been sent to landfill. Plans are afoot to open more production sites across the UK that will enable 4 million pieces of EcoSheet to be produced annually The product has proved so successful amongst customers that construction companies ISG Pearce, and The Apollo Group have both signed national framework agreements with 2K Manufacturing implementing the use of EcoSheet on their sites. Craig Welmers from ISG Pe a rc e

A6 double sided postcard:Layout 1


says: “We have been extremely pleased with the way EcoSheet has performed as external hoardings in recent trials and as a result, we are now looking to maximise the opportunity EcoSheet presents to our business. Encouraging sustainable development, minimising waste and maximising recycling are key elements of our vision and values and are the future of our industry.” Apollo’s Environmental and Sustainability Manager, Andy Merrin, says: “Apollo is fully committed to sustainable procurement, and we are proud to have been at the forefront of these trials. The introduction of EcoSheet provides us with a viable alternative to plywood, significantly improving the durability and aesthetics of traditional hoarding.”


2K Manufacturing Ltd Preservation House, Airport House Luton, LU2 9LF 01582 437 180 Page 1

Construction Plant Finance The Best Finance In Site

Asset Finance for the CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY Construction Plant Finance Limited Finance House, 45 Grange Road, St. Leonards, Ringwood, Hampshire, BH24 2QE. Tel: 0870 3893445 Fax: 0870 8410030 Email: Web:

A helping hand – eQuip scheme


t has never been harder for small and medium sized companies to secure the finance needed to invest in plant and equipment. This is especially so for companies involved in construction recycling who need to invest in assets that aren’t always well understood by many mainstream lenders. WRAP’s eQuip scheme helps to remove these barriers by guaranteeing the residual value of specialist waste recycling plant and equipment thereby making leases more accessible and affordable. WRAP identified the limited availability of cost efficient capital available to recycling businesses was likely to prove to be a barrier to their growth. The eQuip scheme was therefore set up specifically to address this issue by helping recycling businesses access finance. The leasing scheme, which is operated by WRAP and administered by Cranmer Lawrence & Company Ltd, provides operating leases to SME recyclers and reprocessors. The scheme is open to all small and medium recycling businesses as well as certain large businesses if they are looking to finance leading edge technology. eQuip can help any current or planned business which can demonstrate strong market demand for their product or service as long as the business is involved in either:

• the sorting, reprocessing or recycling of glass, plastic, wood, paper, aggregates, plasterboard or organic waste materials;

• any collection technology or infrastructure that is specifically designed to enhance the above; or

• the manufacturing of products incorporating recycled

glass, plastic, wood, paper, aggregates, plasterboard or organic waste materials.

Conventional vehicles and non-specific recycling equipment are excluded from the scheme, as is sale and lease back and sub-letting of any eQuip funded equipment. There must be a clearly defined higher value end market for the waste. Banks are often reluctant to finance assets they are not familiar with especially as they are not always able to calculate the residual value. However, recycling equipment is normally very robust and often has a useful life in excess of 10 years. WRAP therefore guarantees the residual value of the asset to the funder so that they can calculate competitive repayments knowing that if the asset depreciates more than expected, WRAP will make good any shortfall. The guarantee from WRAP reduces the regular rental that would have been charged. Now in its seventh year, the eQuip residual value guarantee scheme has just exceeded £28 million worth of investment in recycling businesses creating more than 4 million tonnes of additional UK reprocessing capacity. Included in this figure is 2.5m tonnes of aggregates that have been recycled over the life of the scheme. The process is administered on WRAP’s behalf by Cranmer Lawrence who are specialists in equipment operating leasing and associated asset-based financing services, both in the private and public sector. To find out more about the eQuipe scheme visit

O’Keefe gets SMARTR®


perations involving laying or replacing utility pipes traditionally produce large volumes of excavated material. Until recently these arisings were dumped in landfill whilst Type 1 virgin material was imported onto site and used for highway reinstatement by backfilling the excavated trenches. This wasteful process is slowly being eradicated, thanks to the determination and innovation of certain construction and remediation companies who are recycling ever increasing volumes of excavated material and returning it to be reused in utility works and road construction. One such company is CRA member O’Keefe Utilities Ltd who, back in 2005, first identified a need in the Utility Industry for a recycling process that could produce British Standard materials from the soils of trench arisings. Since then O’Keefe Utilities Ltd has designed, developed and commissioned several facilities that allow utility arisings and construction waste to be recycled into British Standard compliant products for use as capping, subbase and base during reinstatement operations and for construction works. The process, which is referred to as SMARTR® (Stabilising Materials from Arisings, Re-grading and Treating for Re-use) can produce a range of Alternative Reinstatement Materials (ARMs) either a standard mix design or one that is job specific that reduces waste and in many cases due to its performance, the volume of material required for import. These products are known as Pavimentum® (PVI™). The entire recycling process begins with visual and olfactory inspections of the material on arrival at SMARTR® processing facilities. Each load is weighed, registered and the material is then stockpiled in designated storage areas where secondary inspections are carried out. Acceptable material is screened and any oversized particles are crushed and stockpiled. The graded material is loaded into the SMARTR® plant and mixed with a primary binder producing a stabilised material (SMF). PVI™ is produced daily on demand by loading the stabilised material into the SMARTR® plant where a secondary binder is introduced; all the mixing is carried out using a fully automated system with an intricate control panel for precision and quality control. All factory production controls adhere to the WRAP

Quality Protocols and the material is produced and tested to BS EN 14227. O’Keefe currently operate two SMARTR® facilities, one in Silvertown, London and one in Chatham, Kent. The larger of the two facilities in Kent has a capacity of producing 800 tonnes of Hydraulically Bound Materials (HBMs) a day and also offers a range of recycled aggregates (shingle, sand, SMF, crushed concrete, etc). To date both facilities have produced a combined total of 65,000 tonnes of HBM’s. In summary, the SMARTR® process offers an innovative solution to the unnecessary disposal of utility and construction waste by using the material to produce a high performance product that can be used for all paving applications and highway reinstatement. Under the process as much as 98% of what is brought into the depots can be recycled ensuring a more sustainable approach to construction works and an alternative to the use of expensive landfill sites.

O’Keefe Utilities Ltd St. Andrews House, 1 Dreadnought Street Greenwich, London, SE10 0PU 020 8858 9124

Collaboration not deliberation – construction waste exchanges How we would carry out our professional activities without use of the internet is now totally inconceivable. Alex Albon of Earth Exchange explains how web technology has emerged to help solve the construction waste problem via online collaborative markets.


he internet continues to evolve at exponential rates from the simple ‘web 1.0’ (e.g. ‘information out’ only) websites of a few short years ago, to ‘web 2.0’ which embraces multi-way interaction with the internet and the use of social media, extranets, intranets, wikis etc to enhance creativity, information sharing, and, most notably, collaboration. It is hoped that these current and future developments will also have endless possibilities for making our activities more sustainable. ‘Sustainability’ has long been a watchword for industry and now, more than ever, attention is being paid to sustainability in the construction industry. The Government’s Strategy for Sustainable Construction is an embodiment of the need to have a more sustainable built environment. A key element of the Strategy for Sustainable Construction is the issue of cutting construction wastes. This is not surprising given that the construction industry singlehandedly accounts for about a third of the UKs annual waste arisings. A massive effort, cultural shift, new ideas and methods are needed to address this issue and grasp the stark reality that we are rapidly running out of landfill void and waste makes no business sense. In order to reduce waste we need to use less, procure more sustainably and reuse or recycle what we don’t need. We can only do this by industry-wide top to bottom collaboration to create a ‘market’ for such materials. In any market we need to ask: have you got? • What What • Whendowillyouyouneed? have it? • When do you need it? • …And where are you? •

It is therefore very interesting that in the last two years or so a brand new service for the construction industry has emerged to help resolve the construction waste problem – the ‘collaborative online construction waste market’. There are three primary reasons for the emergence of this new service : availability of high speed broadband, new and • The continually evolving Web 2.0 technology, associated

applications, and the web’s accessibility via mobile devices now makes it possible for practical online markets to work efficiently for the construction industry.

commercial reality of waste disposal within the • The construction industry now creates a demand for such services.

growing awareness across the industry of the • The construction waste issue, helped by such things as the SWMP Regulations 2008 and WRAP’s Halving Waste to Landfill programme, means that more companies are looking for new ways to save costs and manage their wastes more efficiently, find sources of reusable materials and find sites which can use surplus arisings. There are now several websites exclusively dedicated to the ‘exchange’ of construction–related materials, (some of which are presented in BOX 1), and it is equally interesting to note that each one has been developed and operated by people or individuals with extensive backgrounds within the construction industry. Earth Exchange® is primarily focussed on the reuse and recycling of soils and aggregates. These materials are expensive to transport and constitute the majority of construction, demolition and excavation ‘wastes’ and the method of finding sources, or users, of these materials has been reliant on an old fashioned parochial approach using ‘word and mouth’ – it’s time for a change. The Earth Exchange® system uniquely uses ‘virtual mapping’ so users can literally put a pin in a map for each of their current or future construction or demolition project they have. For each site, a list of how much, when and what types of soils and aggregates they have surplus on each of their sites and how much, when and what materials they need importing can be stated. The resultant ‘site matches’ enables users to contact other sites and arrange an ‘exchange’ on their mutual terms. Some of Earth Exchange’s 400 members include some of the UKs largest civil engineering firms such as Balfour Beatty and Willmott Dixon, as well as earthworks and demolition contractors and developers - over 2100 sites are currently registered online.

BOX 1 Earth Exchange®


Construction Resale

Surplus Match

Earth Exchange® automatically presents haulage routes and distances for materials matches and details of local service providers are highlighted on members’ personal maps. These ‘Associate Members’ can also join Earth Exchange® and can be haulage contractors, plant hire companies, chemical and geotechnical testing laboratories as well as geo-environmental consultants who can advertise at the heart of the UK’s soil and aggregate reuse market. Earth Exchange® is an award-winning service which has already diverted over 130,000 tonnes from landfill, saved nearly 200,000 tonnes of virgin materials from being used, saved over 300,000 miles in heavy road haulage and saved nearly £5 million for its members. The other three notable websites focus on the myriad of other construction-related materials from the humblest light fitting or roof tile to pallets of bricks and more. Builderscrap has over 2000 users who can use mobile phone technology to upload details of salvaged materials or those which are no longer needed on a construction project. 54% of items on the Builderscrap website have been sold/reused

Earth Exchange Ltd Suite 1A Regent Street Estate, 2 Regent Street, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 6GR 0845 000 4321

as a result of being posted online. Construction Resale uses an ‘eBay’-style auction of surplus construction materials, and Surplus-Match helps builders’ merchants as well as construction companies find users of unwanted stock. The crude reality is users of these websites are collaborating in a way which gives them a commercial advantage over those who don’t by cutting waste, haulage costs, procuring sustainably and can even realize revenue for materials otherwise destined for landfill. This reminds me of a definition of Web 2.0 which I sometimes use which sums up the rise in the online collaboration construction waste exchange market: “Web 2,0 lets users do what they want… But if you don’t and a competitor does you’re in trouble”. As the internet continues to evolve the importance of web 2.0 approaches is growing. Used properly and integrated with more conventional communications media, these websites are helping architecture, engineering, construction and demolition businesses enhance their collaborative capacity in reducing constructionrelated waste.

new members

FM Conway Ltd

020 8636 8822 • • • • •

Highway maintenance Civil engineering Structures and building maintenance Recycling Surfacing

Conway House, Rochester Way, Dartford, Kent, DA1 3QY


Website 020 8858 9124

• • • • •

Enabling works Groundworks Sub-structures Soil remediation & stabilisation Utilities

St. Andrews House, 1 Dreadnought Street, Greenwich, London SE10 0PU

Robins of Herstmonceux • • • •

Website 01323 833181

Recycled concrete Recycled road planings Concrete crushing Plant hire

Chilsham Lane, Herstmonceux, East Sussex, BN27 4QG

Earth Exchange

Website 0845 000 4321

• • • •

Materials exchange portal Buy, sell, or swap materials All material types exchanged Nationwide coverage

Suite 1A Regent Street Estate, 2 Regent Street, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 6GR

Diamond Waste

Website 0800 085 6787

• Waste recycling • Construction waste collection and removal • Regular or ad-hoc waste removal Unit 1, Bow Exchange, 5 Yeo Street, London, E3 3QP


The Construction Recycling Alliance (CRA) is an umbrella organisation that represents and supports companies within the construction industry that are dedicated to reducing, reusing and recycling unwanted materials. The CRA is seeking new corporate members who share this dedication.

Who is eligible? Any company operating in the construction industry may apply for CRA membership. Companies from interrelated sectors such as demolition, remediation and waste management are also welcome. Membership is granted upon completion of a CRA assessment to ensure applicants are capable of supporting the main objectives of the CRA which include reducing, reusing and recycling unwanted material.


join now

What is the Construction Recycling Alliance?

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CRA membership

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Why become a Construction Recycling Alliance member? • Send a clear message to clients, government agencies and the public that your company is dedicated to reduce, reuse and recycle surplus material arising from its construction related activities.

• Have your company profile added to the CRA website and receive a membership certificate along with unrestricted use of the CRA’s official logos.

• Benefit from the dissemination of up to date recycling information. Have your opinions on future recycling regulations and guidelines communicated effectively to policy makers.

Contact the Construction Recycling Alliance: Tel: 01483 542923

CRA Newsletter Issue No 1  

Construction Recycling Alliance's first informative newsletter, showcasing CRA members innovation and excellence in relation to reducing, re...