Hazardous Waste to Enhance Precast Concrete

Construction’s solution to a global waste problem

Moock Photos
Moock Photos (1)

1.03 million printer cartridges are discarded in the world a day. That is 12 every second.

For the toner from a laser print cartridge to decompose in landfill, it takes 450 years. Moock Environmental, a recycling and environmental company, proposed a unique innovative solution to the construction industry. They believed incorporating Recovered Toner Powder (RTP) – a finely engineered, hydrophobic hazardous waste product – into precast concrete could colour the concrete and improve its water resistance.


Redirecting hazardous waste like toner from landfill and into building materials could strengthen both our natural and built environments.

Turning the idea into something concrete

Moock Environmental sought practical testing to discover RTP’s commercial viability in precast concrete, helping to try to take it from the laboratory and into the supply chain. The feasibility trials examined how RTP affected production and performance.


Inverurie Precast Ltd, using the state-of-the-art testing facilities in the University of Dundee, tested different concretes using RTP. The trials proved RTP works well as a pigment and waterproofer: improving consistency, bleeding, finish, colour, UV resistance and water resistance. This enhanced performance came at a slight reduction in compressive strength; however, RTP’s improvements in permeability benefit precast concrete’s durability far more. Compared to conventional precast concrete pigments and waterproofers, RTP is a cheaper and more sustainable alternative.

  • Proved the effectiveness of a low-cost sustainable alternative architects and developers can feel more confident in using
  • Saved 1.2 kg of CO₂ for every kg of RTP used – a 5-year forecast of 72-120 tonnes saved
  • Improved consistency of concrete, water & UV resistance, colour and, in some cases, reduced bleeding
  • Incorporated easily into existing concrete mixes
  • Diverted hazardous printer cartridges from landfill to add value to building materials

Total project value: £47,584

CSIC contribution: £17,946


  • Moock Environmental 
  • BE-ST
  • Inverurie Precast Ltd
  • The University of Dundee