Increasing aggregate consumption, especially in countries with a dynamically developing economy and care for environmental protection, means that in many economically developed countries, aggregates are produced from raw materials alternative to non-renewable mineral resources. While the average production and consumption of natural aggregates in Europe is about 6 t per inhabitant, in Ireland, which is developing at a rapid pace, the production volume is almost 30 t / person. In Poland this indicator is much lower and amounts to 4.0–4.5 t per inhabitant. Alternative materials for aggregate production are cheaper and more environmentally friendly solutions.

Artificial aggregates are produced from various types of waste raw materials, mainly generated in the steel, energy and mining industries. This type of raw material has a big impact on the strength parameters of the aggregates obtained. Recycled aggregates are created in places of ongoing construction works, such as: demolition and demolition works, road reconstruction, etc. The amount of aggregate that is produced in a given place is relatively small.

In addition to the abovementioned, the group of aggregates produced from the mineral waste material arising from the underground exploitation of hard coal and ore deposits is becoming more and more popular on the market. These aggregates according to the previously binding standards (before 2004) were classified as artificial, however, according to the applicable standards, they are natural aggregates, because the mineral raw material from which they are produced has not undergone any processing, except mechanical. Nevertheless, these aggregates are not included in the statistics on natural aggregates due to the raw material from which they are produced.

The production of alternative aggregates from waste and associated raw materials is the proper implementation of the basic objectives and principles of waste management, which are: minimization of the size of waste and its adverse impact on the environment, recovery in accordance with the principles of environmental protection, disposal of other waste (including the production of artificial aggregates).