Waste material is no longer a ‘cost’ to a project – it is a reusable and profitable asset. Construction and demolition (C&D) project tenders are now being scrutinised in more detail based on their environmental impact and use of recycling solutions.
Landfill is no longer an option for construction waste, and the industry and customers cannot bear the costs associated with it. The efficient use of waste is therefore critical to the profitability of projects.
Waste processors are being forced to recycle more aggregate, raise the standard of the final product and be innovative in finding markets.
On a practical level, aggregates used by the construction industry have to meet a UK standard. Simply put, there has to be a certain percentage of standard-sized products in the final delivered material. People using recycled material also like something that is easy to compact and lay.
So aggregate processors may be faced with the challenge of producing a size and shape that their current jaw crusher cannot deliver. Some have resorted to double crushing and screening out the smaller material, but everyone accepts this is a highly inefficient way of producing small, single-sized products.
The UK is playing catch-up in its recycling procedures compared with its counterparts in Europe. Many of the ideas now being introduced in the UK have been in existence elsewhere for nearly 10 years. Processors will need to change the way they produce a recycled product or run the risk of being left behind.
The general specification standard will rise during the course of the next five years meaning that less ‘foreign matter’ will be allowed in final recycled product. The shape of that final product will be equally important to meet the increased standard.
The end customer is already becoming far more choosy and discerning as to what to use on-site and what not to use. But this presents opportunities for aggregate processors which use the correct equipment to produce the certified product.
Re-crushing and screening to produce this end product will be a thing of the past. It is a highly in-efficient and expensive way of achieving the current standard and certainly will not be an option for the standards coming in. Impact crushers and cone crushers will become the standard machine that people have to use.
So what effect do these changes have on the market for crushers?
The market is definitely growing, and the mix of what people are using is changing and will continue to change. From my own market studies, I believe that impact and cone crusher sales account for only around 15% currently but, within five years, will have risen to 35%. Crusher sales overall will grow by 10-15% during the same period.
Impact crushers are seen as the ‘catch-all’ of machines that can crush everything from asphalt to contaminated C&D waste with steel in the feedstock. Cone crushers in conjunction with a jaw crusher are being used in hard rock areas to produce the highly sought-after smaller single-sized product.
People have been using jaw crushers since time began on their aggregates. Such machines were proven to work and are simple to use. But customers are demanding a better shape from their crushed product, with a growing demand to produce smaller sizes for pipe bedding, for example. People are also looking at reusing small-sized aggregate to produce concrete.
There is no need any longer to use virgin aggregate.
Austria-based Rubble Master has increased turnover by 27% in 2016 and is looking to continue its growth path in 2017.
The company offers different sizes of mobile impact crushers for recycling and the processing of natural rocks. New dealers are being appointed weekly in territories that previously were considered not suitable for the company’s products.
Jason Purllant is sales and marketing manager at Rubble Master