The Industrial Resources Council (IRC) is a collaboration of non-profit industry associations working together to promote the appropriate use of materials generated by key national manufacturing sectors. The IRC is an active partner with the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) on several initiatives and also works closely with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Recycled Materials Resource Center (RMRC) in supporting the appropriate use of industrial materials in transportation, construction and other applications. These efforts include the development of codes, standards and regulatory guidance, the documentation of field projects involving industrial materials and involvement in the Construction Initiative and the Green Highways Partnership.
As a group, the IRC member industries generate more than 600 million tons of materials per year. These materials, when properly used, are equivalent to virgin materials in environmental, technical and economic terms. Consider that road construction in the United States consumes 530-793 million metric tons of crushed rock, gravel and sand each year for aggregate.
Industrial materials have the quality and volume required to significantly reduce the amount of virgin material required for infrastructure projects. In general, the use of these industrial materials helps to conserve natural resources, address energy and climate change issues, and reduce the need for landfill space. In fact, many of these materials have already been used in large construction projects as well as in pilot scale and field scale applications.