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Sustainable paving tiles are made with household waste

Most paving tiles in the Netherlands are made of grey concrete, a material that is not particularly good for the environment as the making of it generates a lot of CO2. To make the tiles more sustainable, Dutch waste processing companies AVR and Mineralz created a paving tile made with household waste.

On average, a Dutch person creates about 150 kilograms of waste per year, excluding recyclable materials such as paper and glass. This waste is transported to the incinerator, where energy is generated that can be used by households and companies.

However, at the bottom of the incinerator, about 20 per cent of the waste is left in the form of bottom ash. Generally, this material cannot be used for anything else and goes to the landfill.

In order to find a better destination of the bottom ash, various Dutch companies and municipalities have created the sustainable paving tile. To make the bottom ash suitable to reuse, metals, such as iron, zinc, and copper, are removed. After that, the ash is cleaned, leaving granulate called Forz.

Currently, 15 per cent of sand and gravel in the concrete is replaced by bottom ash, and the aim is to make that 30 per cent in the future, amounting of about 13 paving tiles per person in amount of waste. Qualitatively, the tiles are equal to normal tiles, and the price is about the same as well. After use, the concrete can be recycled to create new concrete products. The Dutch city of Duiven is the first to use the sustainable tile.

For terrazzo tiles made with bottom ash, click here.

Photos: De Duurzame Tegel