How Can You Use Recycled Aggregates To Enhance Your Garden?
Updated: Oct 17
As the world moves towards sustainable living and eco-conscious choices, the incorporation of recycled materials into various aspects of our lives has gained significant importance. One area where this eco-friendly trend is making waves is in gardening and landscaping. While recycled aggregates are most frequently used to provide stability or volume to cement, more recently they have emerged as a smart and environmentally responsible option for transforming your garden into a sustainable haven. If you’d like to know more about how to incorporate recycled aggregates into your outdoor spaces, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we'll take a deep dive into the realm of recycled aggregates: exploring their many uses, highlighting different types of building aggregates and providing insights on how they can truly elevate your garden while contributing to a greener planet.
Understanding Aggregates & Their Uses
Aggregates, in the construction world, are essentially granular materials that encompass a mixture of sand, gravel, crushed stone and other similar materials. These elements serve as the foundational components in countless construction projects, ranging from roads and buildings to bridges and sidewalks. Aggregates provide structural integrity, drainage capabilities and even contribute to the visual aesthetics of these structures. The broader category of building aggregates includes a wide spectrum of materials, each with its own unique properties and applications.
Common Types of Aggregates
There are a vast number of aggregates available, each with their own unique properties and applications. Below are some of the most common types used in construction and landscaping projects.
These aggregates are derived from materials that have been reclaimed and repurposed through recycling processes. Demolished concrete, crushed asphalt and reclaimed bricks are some of the common sources of recycled aggregates. By reusing waste materials, these aggregates actively reduce the demand for virgin resources and substantially mitigate the environmental impact of construction.
Building sand, also known as mortar sand or soft sand, is a finely grained aggregate that plays a pivotal role in mortar mixtures used for tasks such as bricklaying, plastering and rendering. It's a critical component for achieving the right consistency and workability in mortar applications.
Also known as coarse sand, sharp sand is a type of aggregate that offers a rough texture, making it highly suitable for blending with cement to create concrete. Its gritty nature enhances drainage and stability within the concrete mixture.
Crushed stone is one of the most commonly used aggregates. It is made by mechanically crushing larger rocks into smaller pieces. Crushed stone comes in various sizes and is used for various construction purposes, including road base, concrete production and drainage.
Gravel is a naturally occurring material composed of small rock fragments. It's available in different sizes and can be used for paths, driveways, drainage systems and as a decorative element in gardens.
This type of aggregate is produced by crushing old concrete from demolished structures. It can be used as a substitute for natural aggregates in various construction projects.
Similar to crushed concrete, crushed asphalt consists of reclaimed asphalt pavement that has been crushed and repurposed for use in new construction projects.
Old bricks from demolished structures can be cleaned and crushed to create aggregates that add a rustic charm to landscaping projects.
Crushed glass is often used as a decorative aggregate in landscaping and can also provide effective drainage when used in garden beds.
Enhancing Your Garden with Building Aggregates
Because of the versatility that aggregates offer, there are countless ways that you can get creative with them in your outdoor spaces. Here are just a few ways that you can implement aggregates into your garden:
Pathways and Walkways
Recycled aggregates, particularly crushed concrete, offer a great way to craft enchanting pathways that meander through your garden. These aggregates introduce a distinctive texture that adds character, while their permeable nature ensures efficient water drainage, preventing the formation of puddles and minimising erosion which allows them to last longer. You can also choose from a variety of colours, sizes and materials to find the right option to match your garden decor. To prevent stones from moving around, you can even choose a self-binding gravel.
Embrace the creativity that comes with using recycled aggregates like reclaimed bricks and crushed asphalt. These materials can be artfully employed to construct walls, raised beds or even imaginative garden sculptures. Not only do these materials infuse a rustic and natural allure to your garden space, but they also significantly reduce the demand for new resources - great for sustainably-minded homeowners!
You might want to integrate the likes of crushed glass or crushed porcelain into your garden beds, both of which fall under the category of recycled aggregates. These materials excel at mulching, effectively retaining moisture while simultaneously suppressing weed growth. To achieve this, you’ll need to lay down a landscaping membrane first, then cut holes out where you intend for the plants to go. After this step, you can overlay the remaining space with decorative aggregates and enjoy keeping weeds at bay.
Utilising recycled aggregates as a foundational layer within planters or pots fosters optimal drainage, which is crucial for the health of your plants. Even more coarse aggregates contain relatively small particles which allows water to run through to the ground. This helps to reduce the likelihood of your garden flooding, especially if you use aggregates instead of paving stones for your garden path. Aggregates can also be placed around the edges of borders and flower beds to improve drainage in these areas.
For those enamoured with the charm of rock gardens, recycled aggregates present a lightweight, affordable alternative to natural stones. Easily arranged and meticulously designed, these aggregates enable the creation of visually captivating rock formations without the need for cumbersome lifting.
Aggregates are a great way to landscape a pond, providing a natural edge to encourage wildlife into your garden and soften any harsh edges. It is important to note that you need to be careful about what aggregate material you use near your pond, however. Stones with a high lime content can affect the natural pH of the water, so look for stones that are pre-washed or contain low volumes of lime. If you’re unsure, an aggregate specialist will be able to help you determine the safest option for your pond.
Finding a Reliable Aggregate Supplier
When considering the use of recycled aggregates within your garden, establishing a partnership with a reliable supplier is of paramount importance. Not only does it ensure total adherence to industry standards and the practice of responsible sourcing, but you can also rest assured that you’re receiving a product that will keep your garden looking its best for years to come. London's trusted construction waste removal and plant hire company, Mark Luck Ltd, stands as a beacon of reliability. As a REACH-registered company with a commitment to environmental responsibility, we provide high-quality aggregate delivery, ensuring your garden enhancement journey is both sustainable and rewarding.
Building Aggregates Delivered to Your Door
Recycled materials now account for more than 20% of the aggregates used in the UK - a percentage that is soon set to rise. At Mark Luck Ltd, our recycled aggregates are produced in accordance with the quality protocols of the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP). We have access to state-of-the-art processing, crushing and screening plants to minimise environmental impact and produce high quality recycled aggregates, with crushed concrete and recycled sand being two such examples.
Ready to embark on your journey towards an eco-friendly garden transformation? Choose Mark Luck Ltd today to access top-tier primary and recycled aggregates and gain invaluable insights on creating a garden that marries beauty with sustainability. Our recycled products are increasingly being used for all below-ground applications from small projects through to major office developments, meaning that we can tailor our services to the needs of your project. What’s more, our fleet of haulage vehicles provide flexibility when ordering; deliveries are available in loads of 1 to 29 tonnes and in bulk bags. Get in touch for helpful advice, information and for prices or aggregate delivery details.