THE CONSTRUCTIONIST.

APR

12



AGGREGATES IN ONTARIO – DID YOU KNOW?

Each year in Ontario we use approximately 170 million tonnes of aggregates, which translates to 14 tonnes per person. It is most obvious that we use sand, stone and gravel to build our homes, schools, roadways and other various infrastructure, but beyond that there are many lesser known uses. Did you know that aggregates are found in make-up, paint, glass, and various household cleaners? Even areas like our water filtration and sewage systems use aggregates. Aggregates are virtually everywhere, even if we can’t see them.

Sourcing an Aggregate Pit

Ever wonder how a quarry or pit is chosen by an aggregate company? Not every piece of land is suitable, and really only Mother Nature can dictate where these resources can be found and the amounts available. There are some areas that are lost due to development, and some areas may not be abundant enough to justify the costs of setting up a site for excavating.

Challenges We Face

The aggregate industry faces great opposition and challenges. Firstly, when it comes to putting in a pit or quarry in a populated area, most people complain that there will be noise and dust; they would rather live next to a beautiful park or shopping centre instead. Secondly, the growing costs of transportation creates a challenge, which is why it is best to source aggregates closest to the areas they are needed. The further we have to transport the aggregates, the more expensive they become. Additionally by travelling further distances, our trucks are emitting more greenhouse gases and pollution. Economically, about one half of the cost of stone and sand on the job site is transportation. Since government bodies (i.e. taxpayers) use over half the aggregates produced in the province for infrastructure, every taxpayer benefits from keeping the aggregate pits as close to markets as possible.

The Life of a Pit or Quarry

Pits and quarries are self-consuming. Once the material has been extracted, there is no need to keep it open. Some sites can remain open for 30 years or more, but many are depleted in 5 years. It all depends on the abundance of aggregate material and the extraction rate.

To learn more about aggregates, visit our website www.brockaggregates.com. At Brock Aggregates, our commitment is in stone. We supply and deliver high quality aggregates throughout the Greater Toronto Area, since 1997.

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