Recovering and using recycled aggregates

Choosing the right recycled and secondary aggregates


Using recycled and secondary aggregates (RSAs) may cut your business' carbon emissions, lower costs and help demonstrate your environmental credentials to stakeholders, clients and investors.

To encourage your contractors to use RSA, you should:

  • explicitly mention them in your sustainability and environmental policies
  • set out your position on their use in your tender invitations
  • use tender evaluation to give credit for using RSAs
  • clearly state that RSAs can be used in any application as long as quality and material specifications are met
  • spell out any targets and monitoring requirements
  • specify clearly that any RSAs used must comply with quality protocols and should be ordered and delivered to a recognised specification, such as the Specification for Highway Works

Guidance for contractors

Contractors also have a role to play in promoting the use of RSAs. To encourage clients to allow you to use RSAs in their projects, you should:

  • point out that RSAs meet their requirements and may also lead to cost savings and environmental benefits
  • make sure that you always use established, reputable suppliers and show the client evidence of this - for example test certificates or quality procedures
  • reassure them that the RSAs you order fully comply with specifications and quality protocols
  • give examples of previous successful projects using RSAs
  • go to the site with the first delivery of RSAs to discuss and resolve any concerns

RSAs and the procurement process

There are often opportunities to specify and obtain sustainable aggregates throughout the procurement process for both clients and contractors. The five main 'intervention points' are when you are:

  • identifying your needs - begin to consider possible uses of RSAs at the very early stages in your project
  • specifying requirements - make sure that targets are set for the use of RSAs, and that these are incorporated in your standard documents
  • choosing suppliers - use sustainability and environmental criteria to pre-select potentially suitable tenderers
  • evaluating tenders - incorporate sustainability and environmental criteria into the tender evaluation process
  • managing the contract - monitor contractors' performance at regular intervals to ensure that targets will be achieved