Environmental Rubble Management

Reciclados Industriales de Colombia

6. Clean Water and Sanitation 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action

Overview

Reciclados Industriales is the first Colombian enterprise dedicated to making rubble profitable using building residue and demolition material. The practice promotes environmental conservation and sustainable urban development.

Authors

Monica Vergara Mercado

Monica Vergara Mercado

MARIA CRISTINA AMAYA

MARIA CRISTINA AMAYA

Solanye Katherine Quiroga

Solanye Katherine Quiroga

Xiomara Saavedra

Xiomara Saavedra

Marcela Portilla

Marcela Portilla

School

Universidad Externado de Colombia

Universidad Externado de Colombia

Professor

Gustavo A Yepes López

Gustavo A Yepes López

Innovation

Before this innovative project, rubble and construction materials of Bogota, Columbia, a city that has more than 7 million people, ended up contaminating rivers and wetlands. These materials were disposed in places that did not reach the established requirements, in dumps, or buried in the ground, which negatively impacted people and the environment.

Reciclados Industriales is a company created to mitigate the impact of industrial rubble from the building construction sector in Bogota, Colombia. Every day, the city generates at least 20,000 tons of rubble, almost double the typical large city.

For this reason, the company collects rubble and construction materials, and after a special process at an specialized plant, these wastes are transformed into new construction materials.

For each cubic meter treated at the plant, a cubic meter of contamination is avoided and is the equivalent of two cubic meters of natural material left undisturbed from mountains and rivers.

Environmental Rubble Management

Inspiration

Reciclados Industriales co-founder, Alejandro Vallejo Arias is an industrial engineer with a sensitivity for environmental subjects since his university student years and a curiosity for what happens to products after their useful life has ended. Under the premise that “nature does not produce garbage and everything around us comes from nature, everything must go back to the beginning to be used adequately,” Alejandro proposed an initiative to mitigate the industrial rubble impact from the construction sector in Bogota City, decreasing exploitation of natural resources used in the infrastructure sector.

Overall impact

Reciclados Industriales seeks to promote the recycling of construction residues and demolition materials, decrease contamination, reduce exploitation of natural resources used in construction, and contribute to sustainable cities.

The mission of this enterprise contributes to accomplish the SDG's proposed by the United Nations, including:

•Objective 6 Pure water and sanitation: avoiding wastes that contaminate rivers

•Objective 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure: increase efficiency and promote closed production cycles

•Objective 11 Cities and sustainable communities: recyclable and innovative technologies for the construction industry

•Objective 12 Production and responsible consumption: reuse of materials and promote of sustainable construction

•Objective 13 Action for climate change: avoid the extraction and production of new materials

•Objective15 Life of ecosystems: avoid contamination on rivers and land

Business benefit

Reciclados Industriales generates industrial granular material of excellent quality meeting specifications from ICONTEC and local regulations. They manage market prices and encourage their clients to buy products that benefit the environment. The company slogan: WE DO IT WELL, WE DO IT FOR YOUR WELL BEING AND THE ENVIRONMENT, reflects the interest of the company.

The Company has generated annual sales growth of more than 120%. It reached its break-even point in the second year of operation. This growth has contributed to decreased use of natural material for construction in the city of Bogota and has reduced illegal dumping.

Social and environmental benefit

  • Supports compliance with environmental regulations in the management of debris and construction and sustainable urban development
  • Reduces the pollution of wetlands and river basins
  • Reduces the exploitation of natural resources such as mines and quarries
  • Contributed to the creation of a new culture in the infrastructure sector for builders, where care for the environment is as important as the reduction of costs
  • Bogotá is a pioneer in Colombia in creating standards requiring builders to use recyclable materials which is the first step for cities in Colombia to contribute to a sustainable development

Interview

Alejandro Vallejo Arias, co-founder

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Reciclados Industriales de Colombia

Reciclados Industriales de Colombia

Bogotá, CO

Business Website: http://www.recicladosindustriales.co/

Year Founded: 2010

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

Since 2010, RECICLADOS INDUSTRIALES has received rubble, certified appropriate disposal, and managed the transformation process to produce granular material for infrastructure, public places, foundations, sidewalks, parks, and prefabricated concrete.