ROCKtober 2023


NSSGA invites you to join us in making October into ROCKtober. Throughout the month, we’ll be sharing resources and information about the aggregates industry. From the materials in the houses we live, to the construction of the roads we drive, to the cell phones in our pockets and transportation of the food we eat; aggregate materials play a critical role. That is why this year, we’re focusing on the theme: "Aggregates Everywhere” We plan to highlight the obvious and the more unique ways our materials and products are utilized in everyday life. 


Even though you can find all the ROCKtober 2023 resources below, NSSGA will showcase the different environments in which our members’ materials can be found through weekly emails. We encourage you to utilize our resources and share your own examples on social media too. We all know that aggregate materials are fundamental parts of everyday life. So, sharing this information with others will help bring awareness to the importance of our industry and its overall economic impact.  


Read below for the resources offered, and how you can engage with ROCKtober. For any questions on this campaign, please contact the NSSGA Communications Team.


Rocks Build America thumbnail


Rocks Build America Video. This video shows how aggregates materials are vital parts of infrastructure and public works projects we all use every day. The stone, sand and gravel that NSSGA member companies produce are vital building blocks of our nation's economy. Check out the video here.




Aggregates and America's infrastructure


Aggregates and America's Infrastructure one-pager. This one-page graphic illustrates how our society utilizes aggregates materials every day. The document includes the amounts of aggregates required for these infrastructure projects and showcases how aggregates are the building blocks of infrastructure, from residential, commercial and industrial construction. Check out the one-pager here.

Aggregates in Households

Aggregates materials have been used in homes since the birth of our nation. George Washington’s house - Mt. Vernon - is a perfect example, with its exterior created with sand. The process known as sand painting was used. First, paint is applied to the exterior then the wet paint is coated with generous amounts of sand. Learn more in this REVIEW article, "Aggregates Make History at George Washington's Mount Vernon."


Did you know? 

  • Aggregates play a crucial role in the foundation and structure of your home.  
  • Sand is used as a functional filler/extender in paints and coatings. 
  • Calcium carbonate, found in limestone, is used in anti-acid products such as Tums, Rolaids, Pepto Bismal etc. as well as in other common household products. 


Average house
Water pipes

Aggregates in Transportation

Aggregates are in almost every method of transportation from roads to railways, bridges and tunnels. When traveling from home to work or on vacation, aggregates help get you where you need to go. 


Did you know? 

  • Aggregate materials vary in shape, strength and hardness. These factors, among others, determine which materials can be used in road construction.  
  • Approximately 95% of materials used in the National Highway System are aggregates. 
  • Crushed stones are used to form a stable foundation and provide drainage and support for the railroad track structure. 


Public works

Aggregates in Technology

Aggregates are used to build lots of pieces of technology – from the mobile phone in your pocket to the energy infrastructure that powers the country.  


Did you know? 

  • Aggregates materials are involved with the creation of many of our consumer electronics such as televisions, phones, and tablets.  
  • Aggregates are used to build and maintain power generation facilities. Limestone is used in the “scrubbers” that help reduce the amount of sulfur dioxide emitted into the atmosphere at electrical power generation plants.   
  • Aggregate materials form the base for cell towers. 


Solar panel
Mobile phone

Aggregates in the Community

Aggregates are key to building and maintaining the communities where we live and work. This includes roads, neighborhoods, playgrounds, sports facilities and more.  

Did you know? 

  • There are over 9,500 quarries in the U.S. and there is at least one in every state. 
  • Most of the time, aggregates are mined within 50 miles of their end destination. 
  • An average sized school or hospital requires 15,000 tons of aggregate materials.  


Besides the materials provided by aggregates quarries, once these facilities are no longer actively quarrying, the space can be reclaimed into a number of community-benefitting locations. Facilities will plan for new, innovative uses of the land such as upland wildlife habitats, wetlands, wildlife sanctuaries, water reservoirs, parks, golf courses, theme parks, amphitheaters, housing developments and agricultural land. 

  • A quarry in Maryland was turned into a lake and provides amenities to residents and visitors with a park, shopping and walking path. It also supports the environment through stream restoration and wetland creation. Learn more in this REVIEW magazine article, "Wait for It... A Quarry Community 150 Years in the Making."
  • A quarry adjacent to an elementary school donated 11 acres that included access to the local river and resources to build the school's sports fields, track, and playground improvements. Learn more in this REVIEW magazine article, "Reclamation: Building Community One Project at a Time."
  • This facility not only operates their quarry but also opens it up to provide movie filming locations and a nature-based learning experience to area schools and other youth groups. Learn more in this REVIEW magazine article, "A Natural Pillar of the Community."
  • This golf course hosted the 2015 U.S. Open and was once a quarry. Read more on the Chambers Bay website.


Nisqually River
Football field
Baseball field