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How To Recycle Concrete

Concrete is sturdy, versatile, easy to handle, accessible, long-lasting, durable, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to handle. From thousands of years BC, when middle easterners used concrete for their floors, and 650BC when it became popular in the Roman empire for construction, it would be quite the challenge to find a building in the modern world that doesn’t have concrete incorporated in some way. At the same time, concrete is a major contributor to atmospheric pollution. The cement industry causes about 8% of total CO 2 emissions around the globe.

Many construction works require the demolition of initial construction. Sidewalks, driveways, foundations, walls, and pillars, all of which contain a large percentage of concrete, may need to be demolished for new projects to be done. This means that the old concrete materials are often transported to landfills, where they take up landfill space. However, most of this concrete can be broken down and recycled for new construction projects without compromising the integrity or quality of the new construction.

gray and brown concrete brick wall

Why Dimension Thinks Concrete and Drywall Recycling Is Rock Solid!

  • Save water: When you recycle one ton of cement, you save 1,360 gallons of water.
  • Save materials: Reduce your raw materials required by 50% by reusing your concrete.
  • Personalizable: Dimension specializes in tailoring a program to your construction business, saving money and materials.

When handled badly, construction and demolition debris seriously impact the environment through landfills and our wallets. Did you know that you can end up paying double to dispose of your unwanted construction waste with fees from haulers and tipping fees? Dense waste like concrete makes up about 70% of all construction and demolition waste: this means that companies end up facing endless, hefty fees.

Recycling concrete not only saves disposal and transportation cost, but it also saves energy that would’ve been used to make new concrete, reducing pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental footprint.

Concrete You Can Recycle

cement flowing at construction site

With current advances in research and development into concrete recycling, all types of concrete can be recycled regardless of the type of concrete material. There are several types of construction equipment best suited to concrete recycling, from reinforced concrete to mesh and dowel concrete and plain concrete.

How is Concrete Recycled?

gray concrete surface with cracks

Step 1: Demolition and Transportation

The concrete must first be broken down to transportable bulks at the point of origin where it is still intact as a sidewalk, wall, foundation, or other types of pavement. It is then transported to a recycling facility, where it is further broken down or crushed.

Step 2: Crushing

The recyclers may use several industrial crushers at the recycling plant, usually with impactors and jaws, which crush the hauled concrete into small pieces. The crushed pieces may also be separated based on the sizes.

Step 3: Removal of contaminants

Once crushed at the recycling plant, the concrete is screened to remove all contaminants. This process may involve the use of several pieces of machinery to remove items such as steel, wood, fibers, clay, dirt, plastic, and other materials that are not concrete. The processes here may include the use of air separators, handpicking, electromagnetic separators, and water floatation separation.

However, not all demolished concrete is moved to a recycling plant for processing. The recycling may also be done at the demolition point where portable demolishers are used. In this case, it is important to choose the most suitable equipment for this. The piece of equipment should be able to separate steel from concrete. The equipment may have:

  • A remote-controlled, manual, or automatic setup.
  • Separate hydraulic stands which make setup quicker.
  • Conveyors, cones, and jaws, which complete the entire process from demolition through to the final concrete product.

Use of Recycled Concrete

  • Recycled concrete can be used as a base for New asphalt Pavement through a process known as rubblization. 
  • Large concrete pieces can be used for erosion control in stream banks, gullies, and foundations for coral reefs.
  • Recycled concrete can also substitute for new aggregate in a concrete mix.
  • Well-crushed concrete can be used as a substitute for gravel in landscaping mulch.
  • Substitute for gravel as foundation materials in utility pipe bedding and trenches 
  • It can also be used as a soil stabilization material.

Concrete Disposal: Hiring a Junk Removal Expert

selective focus photography cement

Dimension will help you save by implementing a waste and recycling program that suits your business, meaning you’ll never pay unnecessary fees again.

Get in touch with the Dimension team, and we’ll close the cracks in your metal and drywall recycling programs, saving you money and time. A sustainable waste management system will bring your business financial benefits, help the environment, and ensure your local community is always on-side!

At Dimension, we are a team of professionals, and we preach responsibility and compliance in waste disposal. We know how best to handle your concrete waste and make sure it is disposed of and recycled sustainably.

What’s more? We don’t only handle recycle disposal; we can help with other items you don’t need, including plastic disposal, mattress pickup, couch removal, furniture removal, cardboard recycling, appliance disposal, etc. And unlike most waste disposal/  junk removal companies, we are very affordable.

Give us a call today!

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