A full circle – demolition wool waste recycled in Finland

12 Apr 2021

Demolition stone wool waste from old buildings has up until now ended up in mixed waste and, thus, in landfill, because the next loop in the recycling chain has been missing. Now we have come a full circle as demolition wool can be recycled, and it will be increasingly easy to achieve the 70% recycling target set out in the EU’s waste directive.

Stone wool is a long-lasting and recyclable material. Owens Corning Paroc introduced as early as 40 years ago a technology that allowed any production surplus to be ripped and bagged and sold as blown-in insulation for attics. Last year, Paroc, in cooperation with its partners, such as EcoUp, launched the REWOOL concept which allows customers’ surplus materials in both precast concrete factories and on building sites to be recycled as blown-in insulation.

The recycling chain for stone wool will now be complete as the stone wool from demolition sites that used to end up in landfill can be recycled through a service offered in Finland by our partner EcoUp. In the production plant located in Southwest Finland, demolition wool waste is turned into a recycled material, which can be used in the more ecological manufacture of, for example, cement, asphalt and bricks.

“We are pleased that a safe, domestic recycling service has been developed for demolition wool waste. The requirements of resource efficiency and circular economy have a significant impact on the construction sector, which is responsible for approximately 40% of all carbon emissions. It is vital that building materials are fully recyclable so that we can achieve the EU’s recycling targets and can move towards carbon-neutral society,” notes Petri Viljanen, the sales director of Paroc’s building insulation.

The recycling of demolition wool waste on an industrial scale has a significant role in promoting circular economy in the construction industry, because the mineral wool used in Europe accrues approximately 2.5 million tons of waste annually. Europe is expected to see a significant wave of renovation projects in the near future to lower the energy consumption of buildings, in accordance with the European Green Deal. The efficient recycling of demolition wool waste will also become emphasised in relation to this.

Paroc designs its products and solutions in a way that allows them to be recycled and re-used. By 2030, our factories will no longer produce any waste.

Read more about our sustainability at https://www.paroc.com/sustainability 
Further information about the service (available in Finland): Ilari Hirvensalo, Director of Business Development EcoUp, ilari.hirvensalo@ecoup.fi, ecoup.fi/aarre