We are acquainted with marble thanks to the numerous works of art that have made extensive use of it, but there are many other uses that can be made of this valuable material.

In the processing of natural stone in the quarries and especially in the processing plants, there are two types of waste: the so-called “cocciame” and the sludge derived from processing wastewater.

“Cocciame” refers to all the stone scraps resulting from the cutting of blocks and slabs.

While the sludge is waste resulting from sawdust, grinding and polishing of limestone stones, such as marble in general, whether white or colored, and limestone compact.

Let’s now look at some possible applications of marble waste.



1.0 Cocciame



1.1 The Sludge



the sludge


Marble powder and its main uses


Marble powder is used in a variety of industries:

  • in paper production where it is the most important filler and coating pigment in the manufacturing process. The fillers and pigments give paper a high degree of whiteness, opacity, gloss and high printing quality at attractive prices



  • in paints and adhesive coatings has established itself as the main mineral filler. Its fineness and particle size distribution determine the coverage of coatings. It also has interesting properties such as high whiteness, low oil absorption, easy dispersibility, low abrasiveness, low electrolyte content, pH stabilizing effect and good corrosion and rheological properties;




  • in plastics is used as a mineral modifier, which greatly improve processes and mechanical properties in many plastics applications;
  • in construction, as it has a multitude of characteristics that make it an ideal raw material for a wide range of uses including asphalt, ceramics, glass, concrete, detergents, tiles and bricks;
  • for the environment, from flue gas desulfurization, drinking water treatment, liming operations in forests and lakes, and acid rain neutralization;
  • In agriculture, it is an additive for pesticide and animal feed production, suitable for sustainable eco-friendly agriculture;
  • in food and pharmaceuticals, where its chemical properties make it an attractive filler and the right carrier for various blends. It is also a white pigment and a technical aid in rice refining and other applications.



Marble waste against beach erosion


Marble Beaches is the name of a project born a few years ago with the aim of solving the problem of coastal erosion in Tuscany and the beach nourishment through the use of Apuan marble processing waste. Basically, it is a matter of moving from the concept of derivative as a problem to that of derivative as a resource, through the valorization of the secondary materials of extraction, transforming them into valuable products, unique for their performance, environmental and economic advantages.


The actions foreseen go in the direction of an all-round sustainable development: resolution of environmental problems, production of quality materials with creation of new local market chains, recovery and valorization of the compromised territory, production of sands and pebbles for beaches/beach nourishment with a high sustainability index both for the quality of the material, which is pure calcium carbonate, and because material that until recently was considered waste to be discarded is recovered.


The project has considerable potential also from an economic point of view, because the quality of the material (white sands and pebbles) can also find applications outside the local area).


Stay tuned for the next article of your favorite stone: marble!