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Green procurement: white aggregates in road resurfacing sparks up incentive for recycling

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Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management (ACR+)
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Hamburg - Behörde für Wirtschaft, Verkehr und Innovation

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In Hamburg, green public procurement principles are included in the City's overarching procurement policy. Additional environmental contract requirements are imposed by the City.

Hamburg has taken a significant step forward to encourage an increase of recycling rates in construction materials by establishing an online exchange for soil, debris and construction materials.

Hamburg prescribes the use of a minimum 35% white aggregates in order to brighten road surfaces and to have a colder, deformation resistant road surface in summer. The high cost of these aggregate materials increased the incentive to recycle more than just base courses. A more careful consideration of the whole process of asphalt production was also triggered by recent dramatic increases in bitumen prices.

The City allowed a group of private companies, who originally came up with the full recycling technology, to test its use on public roads owned by the City State. After the quality was then tested by Hamburg’s road construction authority, the City was reassured about the use of the 100% recycling process.

Main results: 

Hamburg saved 30% compared to the costs for conventional road resurfacing, which in this case equates to approximately €20,000.