Rock to Road

Features Aggregates
An eye on sustainability: CDE’s virtual symposium highlights recycling

Sustainability a key focus of the event

October 22, 2021  By Rock to Road staff report

CDE hosted its annual Engineering Insights Virtual Event earlier this year, tackling a variety of topics for the North American market. Global markets and sustainable practices were key topics for the majority of the sessions held over the three-day forum.

One panel discussion tackled the benefits of concrete recycling and the many ways to recycle and reuse concrete.

The panel featured Ethan Tromp, washing plant manager for ATCO; Todd Ruttura, vice-president of Our Recycling Corp.; Darren Eastwood, business development director, Americas, for CDE; Gustavo Brasil, business development executive for CDE; and Brian Barndt, process optimization manager for CDE.

The first question posed to the panel asked why it is so important to reuse concrete?


Ruttura says one reason is to prevent groundwater contamination, which was occurring around his hometown of Long Island, N.Y.

“In 1988-1989 they realized that the landfills were contaminating our drinking water, so they passed a law in the Landfill Act. At the time, we used to dump concrete in landfills, and big, gigantic pieces of concrete we used to dump in the ocean as a jetty rock. The landfills closed and that’s when concrete recycling started happening,” he says. “For us on Long Island, it’s really important for us to keep concrete out of landfills. 

The other reason concrete recycling is so important in the New York City area is to control construction costs. The closest rock quarries to New York City and Long Island are in upstate New York State or Connecticut, so bringing crushed sub-base into New York City or Long Island is very expensive. This drove more and more companies to start crushing concrete to recycle in the early to mid-90’s, Ruttara explains. 

He estimates that New York City and Long Island is a 100-million tons a year recycled concrete market. Another advantage of recycling C&D waste is that companies are creating saleable products.

Another panel discussion between CDE’s U.S. business development managers, Tom Wick and Ryan O’Loan, discussed how producers can optimize their aggregate extraction. This session focused on the use of the latest technologies to identify missed opportunities and provide solutions; the importance of water recycling on operation efficiency and sustainability; and how advanced wet processing solutions can help to overcome some challenges caused by traditional systems in place at many quarries.

In the panel, “Construction Industry Trends: A Market Scenario for North America in the Next 10 Years,” CDE business development manager Joseph Teahl discussed the increasing demand for recycled aggregate products.

“Given the shortage of natural resources and environmental concerns, the demand for recycled sand and aggregates from waste materials will be increasing over the next years to meet the fast-growing demand in the construction industry,” he said. “The states that will be leading the way are the ones with higher urbanization rates as we can currently see that happening in the [U.S.] northeast region.”

For more information on CDE’s Engineering Insights Virtual Event, visit

This article appears in a previous issue of Rock to Road. Read the digital edition.

Print this page


Stories continue below