Recycling of industrial waste

Published on 18 February 2008

For some forty years researchers and geotechnicians have been investigating the reuse of industrial waste in earthworks engineering.

Development of a spoil heap at Dourges with re-landscaping

There are two reasons for this.

The first is that the volumes involved in industrial waste are often of the same magnitudes as those needed in large scale engineering earthworks. For example, a motorway section of 20 km involves several million cubic metres of earthworks, which is more or less the volume of a mine spoil heap.

In addition, use of certain types of waste can give an earthworks structure some very interesting additional features with regard to mechanical resistance for example, or just in terms of cost.

There are many examples of how these by-products are used. They all bear witness to the determination showed by this sector in protecting the environment well before ecology became a major issue.