Recycling of Building Materials

While environmental pollution in the world is increasing day by day, the construction materials in the construction sector have a great share in this. The most important issue in this regard is how we utilize the wastes in the face of this growing population. At this point, recycling applications come to the fore. Although measures were taken for environmental pollution in the world in the 1970s, waste recycling only started in the 1990s.

Developed countries have provided recycling of high amounts of structural wastes with their own rules and regulations. The leading ones are Estonia (92%), Germany (86%), Ireland (80%) and England (75%). In addition, it is between 60-70% in Austria, Belgium and Lithuania, and 40-60% in France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Slovenia.

Recycling in Concrete

The most used material in the industry is concrete. The following applications can be supplied with the crushing and grinding process:

  • Recycled aggregate (crushed stone)
  • Filling material
  • Aggregate (lean concrete) in low strength concrete composition
  • Infrastructure materials for road construction

Recycling in Glass Waste

With the recycling practices to be applied in glass waste, materials can be provided for the following applications:

  • Glass to be reused
  • Recycled glass
  • Glass fiber insulation material (glass wool, glass fiber)
  • Ceramic
  • Paving block
  • Reflective paint production on the roadside

Recycling in Metals

Metals have been tested at different rates on the asphalt surface in mastic asphalt mixtures by direct use and melting and obtaining new metal and positive results have been obtained.

Recycling in Insulation Materials

It is also used in asphalt production by reproducing insulation materials with washing, drying, grinding and crushing methods.

Definition of Recycling

To reduce the use of new raw materials, reduce energy use, reduce pollution, land degradation and greenhouse gas emissions when compared to a new manufacturing process. In this case, recycling is one of the strategies in managing solid waste which consists of activities of sorting, collecting, processing, distributing and manufacturing used products / materials as well as being a major component in modern waste management as well as being part of a hierarchical waste process. known as “4 R” “Reduce, Reuse, Recyle, and Replace”.

Recycling is the process of turning used materials into new materials with the aim of preventing waste that can actually be useful, reducing the use of new raw materials, reducing energy use, reducing pollution, land degradation and greenhouse gas emissions when compared to the process of making new items. Recycling is one of the solid waste management strategies which consists of the activities of sorting, collecting, processing, distributing and manufacturing used products / materials, and the main components in modern waste management and the third part is the 3R waste hierarchy process (Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle). ).

Materials that can be recycled include waste glass, plastics, paper, metals, textiles, and electronic goods. Although similar, the composting process, which generally uses biomass waste that can be degraded by nature, is not categorized as a recycling process. Recycling is more focused on waste that cannot be degraded by nature naturally in order to reduce land damage. Broadly speaking, recycling is the process of collecting waste, sorting, cleaning, and processing new materials for the production process.

On a limited understanding, the recycling process must produce goods that are similar to the original product with the same material, for example used paper must be paper of the same quality, or used polystyrene foam must be polystyrene of the same quality. Often, this is difficult to do because it is more expensive than the process of making new materials. So, recycling is the process of reusing materials into different products. Another form of recycling is the extraction of valuable materials from waste, such as gold from computer processors, lead from batteries, or the extraction of materials that are harmful to the environment, such as mercury.

Recycling is something extraordinary that can be obtained from trash. The aluminum recycling process can save 95% energy and reduce air pollution by as much as 95% when compared to the extraction of aluminum from the mine to the process at the factory. Significant savings in energy are also achieved by recycling paper, metal, glass and plastic.

Benefits of Recycled Products

The direct reuse of used paper for other uses is an effort to save on the increased need for paper from native fibers. Efforts to reuse used paper will have a positive impact on forest destruction in the future (Anonymous2, 2012).

One of the efforts to recycle paper waste is to treat used cardboard paper to be used as repackaging material with the same size or smaller. The thing that needs to be considered is that the demand for the type of cardboard usually has to be uniform based on the type of wave, namely one-ply, two-plies, etc. Besides that, waves of cardboard should not be pressed because the waves will disappear and reduce the strength of the cardboard itself (Anonymous, 2012).

Besides paper recycling has many benefits, in fact, reducing and recycling RT organic waste into compost will actually bring many benefits. In addition to a cleaner environment, it is also very beneficial for those of you who like gardening.

Compost, in other words, is a nutrient as well as a starter for the soil to restore nutrients naturally. Thus, the high levels of organic elements and microorganisms in the compost, as well as its ability to retain soil moisture, cause plant roots to develop optimally. It is not surprising that compost is considered an alternative to organic gardening efforts (Anonymous3, 2012).

Advantages and Disadvantages of Recycling

1. Recycled paper

  1. One effort to reuse paper waste to reduce waste generation.
  2. Generating creativity in using used paper.
  3. Additional sources of community income (Anonymous2, 2012).
    In doing a business, we need to take into account the risk of loss so that we are able to minimize losses for the progress of the business that we will manage. As is the case with making clocks from recycled paper materials.

The risks of loss that can occur are:

  • The existing equipment at home is damaged, so it requires capital to purchase new equipment to keep this business running.
  • The goods sold are less attractive to the market because many watches are sold with materials that are not made from recycled paper.
  • The public is less interested in recycled paper products.

To maintain this business from the risk of losses that may occur, efforts are required, such as:

  1. Use existing equipment with care.
  2. Promote to the public that recycled products are works of art created from paper waste.
  3. Promote products to friends or relatives.
  4. Doing creativity in the clock model that will be made.
  5. Making various souvenirs from recycled paper materials, such as: photo holders, pencil cases, book covers, note books, etc. (not just fixated on making watches) (Anonymous2, 2012).

2. Compost

Recycling compost into fertilizer has not only benefits but great advantages. By using compost as fertilizer, plants can grow stronger. Fruit plants will bear sweeter fruit, compost can be used to fertilize ornamental plants, flowers, or vegetables in the yard.

The result is a garbage-free environment, and more vibrant with healthy growing trees around the residence. The house atmosphere feels more beautiful and fresher because of the contribution of oxygen from the plants around it (Anonymous3, 2012).

However, besides having advantages, composition also has disadvantages.



Improve soil texture

The amount of fertilizer given is higher than inorganic fertilizers

Increase soil pH

Slower plant response

Adding macro and micro elements

Become a source of pests and diseases for plants

Increase the presence of microorganisms in the soil


Relatively not polluting the environment



Types of Recyclable Materials

There are several materials that can be recycled along with the process, including:

Building Materials

The used building materials that have been collected will be destroyed using a crusher and sometimes together with asphalt, new bricks, earth and stones. The coarser finish can be used as a pavement coating such as asphalt and the finer finish can be used to make new building materials such as brick.


In this case, the large variety and size of the battery makes the process of recycling this material relatively difficult. Batteries must be sorted first and each type has special attention in processing. Like the old type of battery that still contains mercury and cadmium, it must be taken more seriously in order to prevent damage to the environment and human health.

Electronic Goods

Popular electronic goods such as computers and cell phones are generally not recycled because the economic benefits are not clear. Materials that can be recycled from electronic goods such as metals contained in electronic goods, namely gold, iron, steel, silicon or parts that can still be used such as microchips, processors, cables, reistors, plastics. However, the main purpose of the recycling process is for the sake of environmental sustainability, although the economic benefits are still unclear.


Iron and steel are the most recycled metals in the world. Metals are among the easiest to recycle because they can be separated from other waste by magnets. This recycling includes common metal processes, such as smelting and reprinting.

The results obtained do not reduce the quality of the metal, another example is aluminum which is the most efficient recycled material in the world. But in general, all types of metal can be recycled without reducing the quality of the metal, which is why metal can be used as a material that can be recycled indefinitely.


The glass obtained from bottles and the like is first cleaned of contaminants, then melted together with new glass material. Can also be used as building and road materials.


In this case the paper can be recycled by mixing used paper that has been pulped with new paper material. However, paper will always decline in quality if it is continuously recycled. This means that paper must be recycled by mixing it with new material or recycling it into a lower quality material.


For this, plastics can be recycled as well as metal recycling. It’s just that there are various types of plastic in this world. For now, various plastic products contain codes regarding the type of plastic that makes up the material, making it easier to recycle. Plastics can be recycled in the same way as metals are recycled. It’s just that, there are various types of plastic in this world. Currently, in various plastic products, there is a code regarding the type of plastic that makes up the material, making it easier to recycle. A code on the package in the form of a 3R triangle with a numeric code in the middle is an example. A certain number indicates a particular type of plastic, and is sometimes followed by an abbreviation, for example LDPE for Low Density Poly Ethylene, PS for Polystyrene, etc.

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