What is Hardcore and Recycled Aggregates?

Hardcore and recycled aggregates have many uses, whether you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint or want peace of mind that your new driveway is set upon a strong base. Aggregate material is ideal for many construction projects, both domestic and commercial. But it’s important to understand the differences between the two, together with their uses. 

What are they?


This is a term used to describe asphalt or concrete that has been made from crushed construction debris. The new material is then reused in other building projects. This is a highly sustainable approach within the construction industry, preventing unnecessary amounts of refuse going to landfill.

There are two ways in which recycled aggregate can be produced:

  1. At the site of source
  2. In a central plant

Generally, once recycled aggregate is produced, it is no longer considered to be waste. This then means that it will no longer be subjected to waste management controls. 


This refers to a mass of solid materials. Often, a variety of graded materials can be used to help create a hardcore layer:

  • Pulverised-fuel ash
  • Blast furnace slag
  • Quarry waste
  • Gravel
  • Brick
  • Broken tiles
  • Crushed rock
  • Graded concrete rubble
  • Colliery spoil
  • Oil shale residue

The materials used to make up hardcore aggregates need to be strong themselves in order to be crushed and compressed to make a new material. This process ensures that gaps or voids are filled, which could otherwise threaten the level of support that a hardcore layer provides.

What are they used for?


Surprisingly, recycled aggregates have been in use since World War II, when countries, particularly across Europe, had a low reserve of natural resources. Generally, this collection of construction refuse is used for cement concrete, road bases, pavement layers, embankments and earth-filling operations among other infrastructure projects. 


Hardcore aggregate is used as a formation material to fill irregularities in excavations, ensuring a firm and level working base onto which load-bearing, heavy surfaces can be laid, such as stone or concrete. 

To ensure a strong foundation for building work, a hardcore bed must be used. This proves to be invaluable within the construction industry, allowing floors to be raised, pavements to be laid and roads to be built. 

What type of aggregate do I need?


Recycled aggregates can be used for many things. Depending on the project you’re carrying out, recycled aggregate may be better suited than hardcore aggregate. Despite its relatively inexpensive price tag, the quality of this aggregate is never compromised on, often being the same grade as new products that have come from a quarry.

You could use recycled aggregates for such things as:

  • Fill for drainage
  • Road construction
  • Bulk fills
  • Noise barriers

Despite just 17% of aggregates coming from recycled sources, the market is growing as this product starts to become more widely available.

Hardcore (MOT Type 1)

Hardcore aggregates are perfect for making up a strong and sturdy base for large, heavy objects or construction work. For example, you can use it to lay a base for a driveway, or a patio. If you’re in need of a stable foundation, then you can always count on hardcore aggregates to do a sterling job.

You can also use hardcore aggregates for:

A sub-base

  • Paving
  • Artificial grass
  • Roads

Other construction uses

  • Trench fills
  • Backfills
  • Over-site fills

Here at Camiers, we’re committed to providing our customers with crushed hardcore and recycled aggregates of the highest quality. Regardless of the project you’re undertaking, we’ll have aggregate material that is ideal for any type of construction. We even offer skip hire and waste management services, as well as being able to recycle up to 90% of the waste we collect, subsequently minimising the amount of material that is sent to landfill. Our team of experts can also dispose of asbestos and other forms of hazardous waste. If you’re on the lookout for strong and reliable aggregate material of the highest quality, then get in touch with Camiers – we operate throughout Tring, Aylesbury and the surrounding area.