Partnering to find ways to build more with less waste through circular economy
Under this agreement, the ERDC will provide technical assistance and $3.4 million to conduct a waste characterization study and develop a basic research program to demonstrate how C&D debris from across U.S. military installations may be used to create alternative fuels, and alternative raw materials for the production of new, more sustainable construction materials.
“In 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that approximately 600 million tons of construction and demolition debris was generated in the United States, which is more than twice the amount of generated municipal solid waste,” said Sophie Wu, director, Geocycle North America. “The partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will help us better understand this material and see how we can create a circular economy program leading to a zero-waste future.”
This research will utilize resources at Geocycle’s Holly Hill Research Center in South Carolina and Holcim Ltd.’s Global Innovation Center in Lyon, France. Geocycle, a provider of industrial, agricultural and municipal waste management services worldwide, works to develop new, innovative waste management techniques combined with proven ‘co-processing’ technology.
“We expect this partnership to lead to waste reduction opportunities at Army installations,” explained Stephen Cosper, an environmental engineer and project manager at ERDC. “We’re very excited about how this project can positively impact our military installations and our environment in the future.”
The research team will begin by conducting a waste-characterization study at a number of military installations facing significant construction and demolition debris. Construction materials will then be evaluated for possible co-processing opportunities, including energy recovery, mineral reuse, and mineral recovery. Information obtained as part of this research will help the USACE identify ways to reduce waste, increase its circular economy, and avoid landfill costs and associated emissions.
“In the U.S., LafargeHolcim’s sustainability goals are at the heart of our research agenda. While we are proud to offer some of the leading low-carbon, sustainable, building products in the market today, we want to make sure we develop the next generation of materials needed to reach our net-zero goal,” said Toufic Tabbara, CEO, US Cement at LafargeHolcim. “This partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will help us identify solutions that can help drive the circular economy, reduce landfill waste, and lower our carbon emissions nationwide.”
The cooperative agreement is supported by funds appropriated to the Department of Defense, and the Army Corps of Engineers’ research organization, the Engineer Research and Development Center. The research topic and any results do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the government. No official endorsement should be inferred.
About the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center
The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is one of the premier engineering and scientific research organizations in the world. As the research organization of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ERDC conducts R&D in support of the soldier, military installations, and civil works projects as well as for other federal agencies, state and municipal authorities, and with U.S. industry through innovative work agreements. ERDC research is developing innovative solutions for a safer, better world.
Holcim builds progress for people and the planet. As a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, Holcim is enabling greener cities, smarter infrastructure and improving living standards around the world. With sustainability at the core of its strategy Holcim is becoming a net zero company, with its people and communities at the heart of its success. The company is driving the circular economy as a world leader in recycling to build more with less. Holcim is the company behind some of the world’s most trusted brands in the building sector including ACC, Aggregate Industries, Ambuja Cement, Disensa, Firestone Building Products, Geocycle, Holcim and Lafarge. Holcim is 70,000 people around the world who are passionate about building progress for people and the planet through four business segments: Cement, Ready-Mix Concrete, Aggregates and Solutions & Products. More information is available on www.Holcim.com.
In the United States, LafargeHolcim in the US, a subsidiary of Holcim, includes close to 350 sites in 43 states and employs 7,000 people. Our customers rely on us to help them design and build better communities with innovative solutions that deliver structural integrity and eco-efficiency.
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