Concrete stands as the cornerstone of any construction project, from residential homes and apartment complexes to bridges, roads, and skyscrapers.
But what happens to all that concrete when the job is done? Can it be recycled?
Concrete can be reused and recycled in various ways. The procedure usually includes pulverizing and crushing the concrete rubble to neat the building site or demolition.
Recycling concrete can be the perfect way to reduce the cost of construction while also helping the environment. Not only can it be used in new projects, but it can also be used to reinforce existing structures and foundations.
Unwanted, old concrete can also be reused as fill. It can be used in roadbeds, as a base for asphalt or pavement, and even as an aggregate for new concrete.
Recycling concrete needs breaking, crushing, and removing from the existing location and using it to produce new and reusable material.
There are numerous advantages and uses of recycled concrete, such as its ability to prevent further deterioration of old concrete and provide higher stability for new structures.
It also conserves energy, helps reduce the cost of landfill fees, and lowers emissions from the production process.
Advantages Of Concrete Recycling
Generally, demolished concrete is sent to a landfill for disposal, but because of environmental awareness creation, concrete is recycled or reused for some or other concrete work.
There are various benefits to reusing concrete rather than dumping or burying it in a landfill. Here is the list of advantages of recycling and reusing concrete
- Saves cost
- Better utilization of trucking
- An excellent option for non-renewable resources.
- No disposal charges
It also has economic advantages for recycling concrete. The community does not have to pay for the waste. Those who create concrete waste have to pay fees for recycling.
Thus, it proves beneficial for you, your budget, and the environment. The costs of landfills for construction-related debris continue to rise, and the transportation of debris costs additional expenses from one place to another.
Recycling produces considerable savings in place of spending money on disposal and transportation.
In addition to the cost, landfills are becoming more heavily regulated, which means many homeowners and contractors are finding it hard to dispose of some materials.
You need not worry about landfill regulations and dispose of your materials in a recyclable way.
Concrete waste takes up a considerable portion of landfills, so many cannot accommodate its volume and size. Recycling keeps these materials away from landfill, which is available for reuse in different applications.
In short, recycling saves energy that would be useful for processing, mining, and transporting new aggregates.
Some Uses Of Old Concrete
Recycled concrete can be used in a few ways as you would use new materials like aggregates, paving materials, and gravel. Waste or old concrete can be used as:
Permeable Pavement for Driveways, Walkways, and Other Outdoor Hard Surfaces
Broken or old concrete can create porous traffic and a stable surface that rainwater can filter. It is the technique that decreases the amount of runoff water. It must be manageable by the storm sewer systems and also helpful to replenish groundwater.
Base For New Paving Of Asphalt
The procedure is known as rubblization, where old pavement of concrete is broken in a place. It can be helpful as the basement layer for the pavement of asphalt laid on it.
Base Material Of Bed For Trenches Having Underground Utility Lines
Utility trenches cover gravel for drainage, and crushed concrete makes an inexpensive/good substitute for stone.
Aggregate To Mix New Concrete
You can replace some of the new aggregates and place crushed concrete in the ready mix easily.
Controls the Erosion Of Stream
Larger pieces of crushed concrete placed around vulnerable gullies or stream banks can be helpful to control erosion.
When you properly crush and sort it well, ground concrete can replace the river gravels and other rocks that are useful as ground mulch and covers
Filling For Wire Gabions And Build New/Oceanic Habitats
Wire gabions or cages filled with crushed rocks and gravel can make functional and decorative screen walls. Bigger concrete pieces located offshore can create the coral foundation for building new reefs.
How Is The Quality Of Recycled Concrete?
The strength of recycled concrete is around 10 to 15 percent less than new fresh aggregate concrete. However, suitable mix designs may result excellently and reliably.
The mix of old and new concrete gives a slightly higher quantity of cement that can be used as plain simple concrete.
The quantity of cement can be lesser and the same strength of recycled concrete mixes as new ones.
Can Concrete Be Recycled: Final Thoughts
The verdict is in; yes, concrete can certainly be recycled. This remarkable feat of science and technology not only offers an attractive, cost-effective alternative to traditional methods for breaking down unusable concrete slabs but also provides a way for us to take care of the environment.
In addition to making use of the gravel, sand, and water that can be reclaimed from it and offering them back up as usable resources, recycling concrete helps reduce the need for mining new materials while simultaneously providing much-needed jobs.
It’s a win-win situation all around! From commercial construction sites to DIY projects at home, recycling concrete is an incredible opportunity that so many people can take advantage of.