The importance of waste recycling - an interview with Tradecowall

The quality of secondary raw materials depends strongly on the grade of sorted recycled aggregates. Therefore, the waste recycling companies are an important part of the recycling chain, as their activities are in the beginning of the ‘’new life’’ of secondary raw materials. We asked Robin Chapelle, Project Manager at Tradecowall, Belgian enterprise for recycling of construction & demolition waste (CDW) to introduce us to the work of his company within the SeRaMCo project.


Q: Although CDW accounts for 1/3 of the European waste, only 4% of the CDW ends up as the secondary raw materials. How do you think SeRaMCo can change this situation?

Robin: “The construction sector is doing a terrible job in communicating about the secondary raw materials. In most of the cases, end-users are not even aware that recycled materials can be used in a construction work. As a first step, they need to become aware of this opportunity. For instance, in Belgium, although the legislation calls for the use of secondary raw materials in the construction sector (where applicable), majority of the end-users are not even aware of this provision. Therefore, SeRaMCo needs to demonstrate the added value of the secondary raw materials in an appealing manner.

Q: How is Tradecowall involved in SeRaMCo?
Robin: “Tradecowall undertakes processing and crushing of the CDW. The end-result of these processes, e.g. secondary aggregates, are then delivered for cement and concrete precast production to other project partners, namely PREFER,Vicat and Beton Betz. Tradecowall started producing the first samples of concrete aggregates in July 2017. These are tested by the University of Lorraine. For the production of cement aggregates, we are constructing a new plant for wet production that will be operational by the end of the year. The plant is one of the milestones of Tradecowall’s participation in the SeRaMCo project. The first samples of the cement aggregates will be sent to the University of Liege for further testing.
Towards the end of the project, we intend to test new recycling techniques. This will be done in coordination with other project partners, namely University of Liege and PREFER.

Q: How do you see construction sector in 2020?
Robin; “I see the sector as more sustainable, regardless of the actual amount of recycled CDW. In 3 years time, SeRaMCo will raise the awareness about the recycled materials, thereby contributing to their slow, but steady uptake among the end-users."

Thank you very much for finding time to chat with us, Robin. We are looking forward to visiting your processing plant once it becomes fully operational.

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