Natural aggregates to be used in earthworks can be replaced with recovered materials acquired from surplus soil, industrial by-products and waste, mildly contaminated ground and materials from old earthworks. In Finland these secondary materials are called UUMA materials. They can be used in earthworks as such or as components to replace virgin aggregates or to improve their properties.
Construction consumes over 100 million tonnes of rock materials in Finland annually. The consumption of natural aggregates totals on average 70–80 million tonnes annually. Recovered materials, possibly suitable for construction purposes, are produced annually almost to the same amount. The promotion of the use of recovered materials is a highly efficient way of improving material efficiency and can lead to a significant decrease in the use of virgin natural resources and energy consumption required in their transport.
The use of recovered materials to be utilised in earthworks can be significantly increased by the commercialisation of materials and developing construction technology, planning and procurement.
The goal of the UUMA programmes is to promote the use of recovered materials in earthworks and thus decrease the use of virgin natural resources and the environmental impact of earthworks.
The programme focuses especially on promoting eco-efficient project-specific material solutions and the commercialisation of earthworks with recovered materials. The main focus of the programme is on product development, in the development of planning and procurement carried out by clients and the related demonstration projects.
The programme aims to:
- introduce more commercialised UUMA materials to the markets
- support the development of planning and procurement carried out by clients
- decrease the use of virgin rock and gravel materials in groundworks
- produce information for the development of environmental legislation so that legislation supports eco-efficient earthworks.
Ramboll Finland Oy is in charge of implementing the UUMA4 programme and Motiva Oy is in charge of its communications.