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Quarried and Recycled Aggregates

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

Quarried aggregates and recycled aggregates are two types of materials used in construction projects.


Quarried aggregates are obtained by extracting and processing natural materials, such as rock, sand, or gravel, from quarries or mines.


Recycled aggregates, on the other hand, are produced by processing materials that have been previously used in construction or demolition projects, such as concrete, bricks, or asphalt. Recycled aggregates can come from both industrial and consumer waste streams, and can help reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

Here are some of the key differences between quarried aggregates and recycled aggregates:

  1. Environmental Impact: Quarried aggregates require the extraction of natural resources, which can have a significant impact on the environment. This includes habitat destruction, soil erosion, and the depletion of natural resources. Recycled aggregates, on the other hand, help reduce the need for extracting new materials, and can help to reduce landfill waste.

  2. Cost: The cost of quarried aggregates can vary depending on factors such as location, availability, and transportation costs. In some cases, quarried aggregates may be more expensive than recycled aggregates. Recycled aggregates can often be obtained at a lower cost since they are produced from materials that would otherwise be discarded.

  3. Quality: Quarried aggregates generally have a more consistent quality than recycled aggregates, which can vary depending on the source materials and the processing methods used. However, recycled aggregates can still meet the required specifications for many construction projects.

  4. Sustainability: Recycled aggregates are generally considered to be more sustainable than quarried aggregates, as they help reduce the demand for new materials and contribute to a circular economy. Additionally, using recycled aggregates can help reduce the carbon footprint of construction projects, as it can help reduce the amount of energy required to produce new materials.

Overall, the choice between quarried aggregates and recycled aggregates will depend on factors such as cost, availability, quality requirements, and sustainability goals. In many cases, a combination of both types of materials may be used in construction projects.


Both quarried and recycled aggregates have their own advantages and disadvantages. Quarried aggregates are often of higher quality and more consistent than recycled aggregates, and may be more suitable for certain applications that require specific properties such as strength or durability. However, the extraction and transportation of quarried aggregates can have significant environmental impacts, including habitat destruction, soil erosion, and air and water pollution.


Recycled aggregates, on the other hand, can be more sustainable and environmentally friendly, as they reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and conserve natural resources. However, recycled aggregates may have varying levels of quality and consistency depending on the materials they are derived from and the processing methods used, which may limit their use in certain applications.


Overall, the choice between quarried aggregates and recycled aggregates will depend on factors such as cost, availability, quality requirements, and sustainability goals. In many cases, a combination of both types of materials may be used in construction projects.


To discuss your requirements and what might be the best option for you, contact our friendly team on 024 7666 6888 or info@macgroup.co.uk

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