Supplementary memorandum from Quarry Products
There is a lack of definitive data on the availability
and supply of recycled/secondary materials. The aim of this note
is to identify the assumptions used by the QPA, and their derivation.
Recycled materials are essentially re-used construction
materials generated by demolition activity, including material
planed-off road surfaces during road maintenance work and re-used
rail ballast. Secondary materials are those which are derived
from other extractive and industrial processes and used in aggregates
The use of recycled and secondary materials
in aggregates markets is not a recent development. Historically
(pre-1990) there was a working assumption that 10 per cent of
the aggregates market was supplied from recycled/secondary sources.
In 1991 the Arup report for the DoE "Occurrence
and Utilisation of Mineral and Construction Wastes" indicated
a volume utilisation of 32 million tonnes for 1989-1990. The market
for primary aggregates in 1989 was 300 million tonnes and in 1990
278 million tonnes, therefore 32 million tonnes from recycled/secondary
source accounted for 9.6 per cent/10.3 per cent of the total aggregates
A subsequent report commissioned by the DoE
from Howard Humphreys and Partners, "Managing Demolition
and Construction Wastes" assessed the use of demolition materials.
Based upon assumed arisings of 70 million tonnes per annum. of
demolition and construction wastes, this study indicated that
some63 per cent, or 44 million tonnes was recycled in some form
or another. The majority of the recycling, was estimated to be
for low level uses, or for engineering use on landfill sites.
In summary, the use of demolition arisings was identified as follows:
70 million tonnes of demolition arisings,
24 million tonnes used
on aggregates and construction fill;
20 million tonnes used
in landfill engineering (haul roads, construction of cells, landfill
26 million tonnes landfilled.
Of the 26 million tonnes of material landfilled,
Howard Humphreys estimated that a substantial proportion was "soft"
material such as soils, which would not be suitable for aggregates
Using the work of Arup and Howard Humphreys,
the use of recycled and secondary materials in aggregates markets
can be estimated as follows:
|Secondary materials||15 million tonnes
|Demolition/construction waste||24 million tonnes
|Asphalt road planings||5 million tonnes
|Total:||44 million tonnes
|(plus use in landfill engineering of||20 million tonnes)
This suggests that the volume of useable demolition and construction
waste which is not currently used is relatively small (a proportion
of the 26 million tonnes of material now landfilled).
There is little doubt that the introduction of the landfill
tax has provided an incentive to avoid disposal of demolition
and construction waste in landfill, and so encouraged the further
recycling of such materials beyond the volumes estimated by Arup
and Howard Humphreys.
It should also be noted that in October 1999 Government implemented
an exemption to the landfill tax whereby inert materials (largely
demolition and construction wastes) used for quarry restoration
would not be taxed. This exemption was to correct a perverse impact
of the original landfill tax regime, which had resulted in inert
material required to meet quarry operator's land restoration commitments
being diverted elsewhere.
There is frequently confusion about the likely and potential
use of recycled and secondary materials, and particularly demolition
and construction wastes, both because there is no consistently
reliable set of data and because of inconsistencies and confusion
in terminology. In the context of making the most efficient use
of primary aggregates, we would regard the use of any recycled
or secondary material in circumstances which replace the use of
primary aggregates as positive examples of "recycling".
On the basis of existing evidence, including that referred
to in the text and the attached results of Recycled Aggregates
Survey from the Building Research Establishment, it appears likely
that the total contribution of recycled and secondary materials
to the domestic aggregates market is significantwe estimate
17 per cent in our main evidence to the Committee. It is also
likely that our total rate of re-use of demolition and construction
waste is of a similar order to best European practice.
Given that, as acknowledged in the evidence of the Financial
Secretary, the current Mineral Planning Guidelines targets for
the use of recycled and secondary materials in aggregates market
by 2001 have already been met, there are already effective mechanisms
operating in the market to encourage the increasing use of these
These mechanisms, such as improvements in information, the
development of specifications, and enhancements in recycling capacity,
will continue to optimise the use of recycled and secondary resources.
No evidence has been presented to the Committee or elsewhere which
suggests that an aggregates tax would significantly alter this