Home 5 Waste Management 5 Fin(e)ally! A Solution for Recycling One of Construction’s Trickiest Wastes

Fin(e)ally! A Solution for Recycling One of Construction’s Trickiest Wastes

Aug 3, 2021 | Waste Management

What are construction trommel fines and where do they come from?

Construction trommel fines come from construction skip waste and are made up of a wide range of materials including aggregates, organics, wood, glass and plastics. 

Recycling construction trommel fines

To recycle this type of waste, we recover the aggregate fraction such as sand, grit, stone and glass and screen out any lightweight organic contaminants*. The aggregate fraction is then washed to remove any contaminants like heavy metals and hydrocarbons, and as a result, a clean recycled aggregate product is fed out of the plant onto our stockpiles. Our recycling treatment can save up to 70% of trommel fines from landfill and repurpose them as useful construction materials. 

construction trommel fines

The Problem

This fibrous construction waste is difficult to separate which means hundreds of thousands of tonnes of it per year is sent to landfills in the UK alone. 

In 2019, Scotland sent 3 million tonnes of waste to landfill, construction and demolition waste made up over 50% of that waste (SEPA 2019). That’s more than 1,500,000 tonnes of waste that could have been recycled and reused as valuable construction materials. 

Due to the drastic difference between the lower and upper Scottish Landfill Tax rates (£3.10 p/t and £96.70), what is often sent to landfill as non-hazardous ‘trommel fines’ is actually mislabelled hazardous/ contaminated waste (57% of 250 cases in England). Should you or your business need any advice on how to safely dispose of your waste, please contact us on 01506 432321 for compliant and sustainable waste management solutions. 

construction trommel fines

The Solution

Brewster Bros are committed to closing the loop on construction waste and love the challenge of recycling even the trickiest of materials. We have invested in a state-of-the-art wash plant that can separate trommel fines into recycled fractions.

Once the trommel fines have been processed into recycled aggregates (usually below 10mm; soft sand, sharp sand and 4-10mm gravel) they will be used for a range of applications including a protective fill layer for cabling and pipes, for concrete production and as a drainage material. Our soft sand, sharp sand and 4-10mm gravel all meet the Series 500 Specification for Highway Works

construction trommel fines

*Brewster Bros accepts clean fines that are certified non-hazardous and have passed the 10% LOI test as a landfill diversion solution.