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Industrial Materials Recycling: Managing Resources for Tomorrow

View and print this fact sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 1.4MB, about PDF)

Fact Sheet

EPA530-F-07-008
January 2007

NEARLY EVERY industrial process, from manufacturing consumer goods, to generating energy, produces many different types of usable materials. These industrial materials can be recycled just like newspapers—both are valuable commodities.

Don’t let valuable industrial materials go to waste. Recycle them today!

Why recycle industrial materials?

Recycled industrial materials, such as coal combustion products, foundry sand, and construction and demolition debris, have many of the same properties as the virgin materials they replace. They can even improve the quality of a product. For example, the use of coal fly ash can enhance the strength and durability of concrete. Industrial materials recycling also:

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Industrial Materials

Coal Combustion Products
  • Fly and Bottom Ash
  • Boiler Slag
  • Flue Gas Desulfurization Material
Can be recycled in
  • Portland cement and concrete
  • Flowable and structural fill
  • Wallboard
Construction and Demolition Debris
  • Concrete Gypsum from drywall
  • Metals
  • Bricks
  • Asphalt from roads and roofing shingles
  • Wood from buildings
Can be recycled in
  • Asphalt paving
  • Concrete
  • Re-milled lumber
  • Wallboard
Foundry Sand
  • Spent sand used in metal casting
Can be recycled in
  • Road embankments
  • Flowable and structural fill
  • Base and sub-base for road construction

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Industrial materials recycling in action

University of California, Berkeley, California Exit EPA
The University of California-Berkeley used high-volume fly ash concrete in reinforcing the stability of its two buildings, reducing the use of fossil fuels while saving thousands of dollars.

Cleveland Grand Prix, Cleveland, Ohio
Spent foundry sand has been used to make concrete barriers, including barrier production, for the Cleveland Grand Prix auto race.

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Build a sustainable future out of today’s industrial materials. Visit:

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