WINNIPEG — The City of Winnipeg will be investigating how it can utilize recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) in roadbuilding as a base and sub-base material.
The city’s Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works Committee (IRPW) recently approved a motion directing city employees to work with industry stakeholders through the 2021 construction season and report back with their findings and recommendations.
“We are encouraged the councillors on the IRPW recognized the critical importance of reusing this recyclable product – 500,000 tonnes of demolished concrete is taken up every year in Winnipeg, from city road, water and waste, utility work and private sector development,” said Manitoba Heavy Construction Association (MHCA) president Chris Lorenc in a press release. “We cannot dump this recoverable resource in the landfill.”
Lorenc explained that demolished concrete is used in many jurisdictions in Canada, the U.S. and globally. He cited Edmonton, where more than 200,000 tonnes of crushed concrete is reused in roadbuilding annually.
Lorenc argued the city’s roadbuilding specifications require aggregates used as base and sub-base materials for roads to pass more tests with tighter standards.
The intent of the updated specifications is to build longer lasting roads but Lorenc noted not a single supplier producing RCA has been able to consistently meet the specifications and no RCA have been used in roadbuilding this year.
According to the MHCA, other municipalities follow Winnipeg’s specifications, as do private developers.
“Winnipeg has been using RCA for decades,” Lorenc told the committee councillors. “We are not experimenting here — RCA is used around the world. Indeed, governments across Canada and globally promote recycled concrete for roadbuilding because it is a good product and it makes good sense.”