Low carbon construction products achieve Scotland's first End-of-Waste status

Recycling and waste management solutions business Levenseat has become the first Scottish company to secure ‘end-of-waste’ status for its new stream of low carbon aggregates products.

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The Lanarkshire-based company achieved the accreditation from Scotland’s environmental regulator SEPA for its newly developed products, which provide a sustainable and lower cost alternative to virgin aggregates used in construction projects.

Developed by Levenseat’s Minerals Division, three of the newly certified products - 0-10mm IBA aggregates; 0-25mm IBA aggregates; and IBA aggregate sand – are produced from incinerator bottom ash (IBA), while its recycled sand contains street sweepings and gully waste. End-of-waste certification ensures new IBA aggregate products, including IBA sand, can be used as a safe replacement of 50% virgin aggregate material in a bound application, while recycled sand has been approved for use in concrete, civil engineering work and road construction.

Utilising its IBA innovation, Levenseat has also developed a range of sustainable building products including lower carbon concrete Lev-co Blocks, which are made from a mix of the company’s new aggregates and virgin materials. Compliant with internationally recognised building and safety standards, Lev-co Blocks offer a long-lasting direct replacement for traditional interlocking concrete blocks, requiring no cement, and are fully recyclable at end of life.

Robert Green, Levenseat Technical Director,

Robert Green, Technical Director, from Levenseat holding the aggregate products.

Levenseat’s low carbon product offering is designed to help construction firms lower their building costs while also reducing their environmental impact by replacing virgin aggregate within concrete – for each tonne of recycled aggregate used, 29kg CO2 is saved from being emitted. In 2020 2.7 million tonnes of IBA was produced from Energy from Waste plants in the UK. By processing into recycled aggregates and directly replacing virgin mined aggregate used in concrete, a carbon saving of 78,300 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to 41,826 car journeys or 36,520 flights can be achieved.*

Levenseat’s Technical Director, Rob Green, said: “As a company focused on innovative and sustainable solutions, we’re delighted to be the first in Scotland to achieve end-of-waste status for these aggregate products. This has been a rigorous process, which included detailed technical and environmental analysis and the implementation of a factory control system to ensure the products continually meet the required specifications.

“The new product range not only offers safe, lower carbon alternatives for the UK construction industry, but it’s also significantly more cost-effective compared to using traditional virgin materials. It represents another progressive step for Levenseat in supporting the journey towards net zero.”

Levenseat also achieved end-of-waste status for production of pulverised fuel ash (PFA) replacement, a product which was short-listed as a finalist in the 2021 National Recycling Awards. Produced from incineration fly and cyclone ash, PFA replacement provides a less expensive and lower carbon option for low strength concrete. Based on the 2020 UK production rate of incineration fly and cyclone ash, estimated to be 450,000 tonnes, the use of this new PFA replacement product when used in low strength concrete would generate a total equivalent carbon saving of 151,200 tonnes of CO2, equating to more than 80,000 car journeys or over 70,000 flights.

Waste to energy will play a significant role in the circular economy, through  heat, energy and, as this article illustrates, resources. With pressure on the construction industry to reduce its carbon measures significantly, there are clear synergies between the two sectors.

The Energy from Waste conference will be exploring the increasing market opportunities in these topic areas – more information here.

Karen Duncan

Product Executive, Mark Allen Group

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