Holcim and Geocycle in the US Announce $3.4 Million Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Recover and Recycle Construction and Demolition Materials


Chicago, IL July 22, 2021 – Holcim US, along with its subsidiary company, Geocycle, announced a cooperative agreement research project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) to study how construction and demolition (C&D) materials can be used for energy recovery and mineral recycling.

Partnering to find ways to build more with less waste through circular economy
Under this agreement, the ERDC will provide technical assistance and $3.4 million to conduct a waste characterization study and develop a basic research program to demonstrate how C&D debris from across U.S. military installations may be used to create alternative fuels, and alternative raw materials for the production of new, more sustainable construction materials.

“In 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that approximately 600 million tons of construction and demolition debris was generated in the United States, which is more than twice the amount of generated municipal solid waste,” said Sophie Wu, director, Geocycle North America. “The partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will help us better understand this material and see how we can create a circular economy program leading to a zero-waste future.”

This research will utilize resources at Geocycle’s Holly Hill Research Center in South Carolina and Holcim Ltd.’s Global Innovation Center in Lyon, France. Geocycle, a provider of industrial, agricultural and municipal waste management services worldwide, works to develop new, innovative waste management techniques combined with proven ‘co-processing’ technology. 

“We expect this partnership to lead to waste reduction opportunities at Army installations,” explained Stephen Cosper, an environmental engineer and project manager at ERDC. “We’re very excited about how this project can positively impact our military installations and our environment in the future.”

The research team will begin by conducting a waste-characterization study at a number of military installations facing significant construction and demolition debris. Construction materials will then be evaluated for possible co-processing opportunities, including energy recovery, mineral reuse, and mineral recovery. Information obtained as part of this research will help the USACE identify ways to reduce waste, increase its circular economy, and avoid landfill costs and associated emissions.

“In the US, Holcim’s sustainability goals are at the heart of our research agenda. While we are proud to offer some of the leading low-carbon, sustainable, building products in the market today, we want to make sure we develop the next generation of materials needed to reach our net-zero goal,” said Toufic Tabbara, CEO, US Cement at Holcim. “This partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will help us identify solutions that can help drive the circular economy, reduce landfill waste, and lower our carbon emissions nationwide.”

The cooperative agreement is supported by funds appropriated to the Department of Defense, and the Army Corps of Engineers’ research organization, the Engineer Research and Development Center. The research topic and any results do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the government. No official endorsement should be inferred. 

About the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is one of the premier engineering and scientific research organizations in the world.  As the research organization of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ERDC conducts R&D in support of the soldier, military installations, and civil works projects as well as for other federal agencies, state and municipal authorities, and with U.S. industry through innovative work agreements.  ERDC research is developing innovative solutions for a safer, better world.  

About Holcim

Holcim is the leading global building materials and solutions company. It has four businesses: cement, aggregates and ready-mix concrete as well as advanced solutions and products that include precast concrete, asphalt and mortar. With its broad portfolio Holcim solves the toughest challenges facing masons, builders, architects and engineers, bringing industry-leading innovations and services to customers challenged by urbanization, population growth and the demand for sustainability. Headquartered in Switzerland and with leading positions in all regions, Holcim employs approximately 80,000 employees in around 80 countries and has a portfolio that is equally balanced between developing and mature markets.

In the United States, Holcim companies include close to 350 sites in 43 states and employ 7,000 people. Our customers rely on us to help them design and build better communities with innovative solutions that deliver structural integrity and eco-efficiency.



Jocelyn Gerst
Holcim US

Follow us on LinkedIn

Stay up-to-date with all our current events and happenings on social media.