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August 20th 2020

All You Need to Know About Concrete Recycling

concrete recycling

Concrete recycling pays an important part with regards to reusing concrete that would otherwise be discarded. Many large scale construction jobs that involve demolition will leave rubble and debris which can be recycled and repurposed for other projects.

The good news is that this concrete can be crushed down and reused for almost any concrete-based jobs, offering an eco-friendly and even cost-effective building material.

What is concrete recycling?

Concrete recycling is when the leftovers of concrete from a construction site are recycled and repurposed for another use. This way, the concrete plays an important role in the development of another project and does not get heaped in with landfill or other wasteful practices.

How is concrete recycled?

In most cases, concrete can only be efficiently recycled by using industrial demolition and crushing machinery. These machines use powerful pressure-based jaw mechanics and impacts to grind down concrete debris into fine pieces and granules.

Once grinded, the concrete will be placed through a second crusher and analysed to identify and remove any dirt that may compromise future structural integrity. At the same time, a machine will separate the small from large aggregate.

It is essential that all debris is removed from the concrete to ensure a structurally sound build.

Ways to repurpose concrete / benefits of repurposing concrete

As briefly mentioned, there are a number of benefits that come with recycling concrete, such as:

  • Recycling concrete is eco-friendly – concrete is a manmade and extremely durable material that does not have good biodegradable properties. In its purest form, concrete can be described as ‘green’ material that has a positive environmental impact. However, large chunks of concrete that end up in landfill will take approximately 50 years to degrade. Recycling concrete for other projects means less concrete ends up click here in landfill, which has a positive impact on the environment.
  • It saves money – concrete can be an expensive material to build with, so by repurposing demolished concrete for new projects, it means builders and customers do not have to foot large bills for brand new concrete. Additionally, this also means that it replaces other materials such as gravel, which would otherwise have to be mined and transported for use.
  • It provides new jobs – thanks to recycled concrete, more construction-related job opportunities are becoming available because companies will require people to properly recycle the rubble and debris for future use in new concrete projects.

The uses of recycled concrete

Recycled concrete can be used for several things, from large scale construction projects to residential use, such as patio paving and reclaimed roofing. Below, we have outlined some of the most popular uses of recycled concrete:

  • Paving for residential properties – recycled concrete can be reported to line driveways, walkways and patios in residential areas. This is an extremely cost-effective solution to achieving a fantastic paving area. Contractors or DIYers must ensure that the recycled concrete is laid carefully to ensure rainwater can pass through it and be filtered properly.
  • It provides a sturdy base for asphalt paving – this is achieved through rubblisation, a process that involves breaking down old concrete and using it as foundation later. Once completed, asphalt can be laid over it.
  • It can be used as an aggregate – in some cases, if proper extraction of debris is achieved, recycled concrete can be repurposed to replace new aggregate in ready-mixed concrete.
  • Material for building new oceanic reef habitats – much like how controlled placement of old cars (after they’re stripped of all harmful materials) are used to promote coral life, large pieces of concrete can be repurposed for coral growth. This must be conducted by an experienced company that specialises
  • Repairing and reinforcing water banks – recycled concrete can also be used to bolster the structures of streams and waterbanks. This also helps control erosion.

Are you looking to recycle your concrete?

If you have recently finished a construction project, big or small, and you’re looking to safely and legally dispose of your concrete, there are a number of ways you can do this.

You can:

  • Take it to your local dump – there will be specific containers where you will be able to haul leftover concrete into them.
  • Arrange for a debris removal company to pick up your concrete – if you have a large amount of concrete to get rid of, simply call a debris collector and they will arrange to collect.
  • Advertise it online – leftover concrete is a very sought-after material, you will likely find contractors who will take it off your hands, or you could even sell it.
  • Use it for other projects – concrete can be repurposed for several home-based projects. Try your hand at some DIY and make use of this versatile material.

Be mindful of how you dispose of your concrete to ensure you’re not damaging the environment or breaking any laws as you may be fined.

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