Paving the way with recycled materials

A new type of concrete comprising 90% waste materials is being used in footpaths and kerb renewal works in Victoria.

Knox Council, east of Melbourne, sources the innovative product locally which contains materials from stormwater drains, including debris from construction projects such as excavated rock, soil and mud.

The materials are collected and delivered to a supplier where they are washed with recycled water and organic matter is removed. The mixture is then sorted and combined with approximately 10% cement to bind it together.

The application of this material follows conventional methods, either precast into moulds or poured directly at the site. The material’s appearance, consistency, and surface finish are comparable to traditional concrete, according to the council, ensuring seamless integration with surrounding infrastructure. Curing time and durability are the same, typically lasting 50 to 100 years.

“Repurposing materials in this way benefits our community, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions … [and improves] our recycling efforts by decreasing waste sent to landfill,” Knox Council stated.

The eco-friendly concrete was first used by Knox Council’s Civil Construction team to repair footpath bays in Wantirna in December 2023 and following this successful trial, it has since been used to update sections of shared path in Lysterfield and kerb in Wantirna Mall carpark. Future works planned will include seat pads and drains, more footpaths, shared paths, and kerb renewal works.

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is the Editor of Concrete in Australia and at the helm of our magazine for 8 years. She was behind the Institute's weekly news bulletins from 2016-2021 and is now writing our focused news items. Desi has been an engineering news and features journalist/editor across all disciplines since 2013 - part of a 30-year career writing for a wide range of industries.