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Materials and waste

In all its operations, FTIA seeks to use materials in a way that saves natural resources, promotes sustainability, and takes into account the full life-cycle of traffic routes. The aim is to reduce the use of natural materials in transport infrastructure management. Efforts are made to prevent the generation of waste and to utilise the waste that is produced. Sustainable material solutions are researched in cooperation with other actors and the implementation of these solutions is promoted. In addition, the use of recycled materials is resource efficient.
Infrastructure maintenance and transport consume significant quantities of natural resources. Natural resources are consumed both in the construction and maintenance of infrastructure and by the transport itself. The largest quantities of materials used in track maintenance consist of railroad ties, railway tracks, macadam, gravel and other soil materials. In road maintenance, road surfaces and soil and rock materials account for the largest quantities of materials used.

The use of recycled materials must be technically suitable and also economically and environmentally sustainable.

A large proportion of the materials used in infrastructure management are recycled. For example, the majority of road surfaces used nowadays are recycled road services. Track rails and switches are refurbished for reuse or used as a raw material for recycled steel. Wooden railroad ties, which cannot be reused, are used to produce energy in combustion plants that have received the required environmental permit.

In earthworks, the aim is to increase the use of recycled materials and reduce the amount of natural materials transported in from outside the construction projects. Recycled materials suitable for earthworks are obtained, for example, from industrial waste and waste from demolition and recycling activities. In addition, surplus soil can also be used.

The use of substances that hinder the later reuse of materials is avoided. For example, the use of additives in road surfaces must not interfere with the reuse of the surface or weaken its properties when it is later reprocessed.