SUEZ produces and sells concrete blocks that close the loop by reusing a challenging waste stream – street sweepings.
Street sweepings and gully waste normally go to landfill. Our zero-waste solution, launched in 2015, is boosting local authority recycling rates.
We accept sweepings at our transfer stations or directly at our two purpose-built facilities for processing street sweepings in Wolverhampton and Coventry.
We process the sweepings, washing them to remove pollution from vehicle exhausts, and separate them into three fractions: sand, aggregates and organics. Non-hazardous waste, such as ferrous metals, is also separated and recycled.
Organic materials including leaves and twigs and filter cake (the sludge left after washing) are used in Environment Agency-approved landfill restoration projects. For example, materials are used for landfill capping to form the base on which the restoration takes place.
Sand and aggregates can be used by the construction industry. At our facilities they are mixed with cement and used to make concrete blocks. This innovation and its practical application of circular economy principles earned industry recognition. The project won the award for Best Recycled Product of the year 2016 and also an Award for Excellence in the Circular Economy.
The concrete blocks have been approved for commercial sale by the Environment Agency.