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Is Concrete Recyclable – Important Guide

Many construction projects begin with the destruction of concrete foundations, sidewalks, driveways, and other concrete buildings, which can leave a contractor dealing with a large number of heavy, thick debris.

However, concrete can be recycled and reused in a number of ways.

Grinding or smashing concrete material near the deconstruction or work area is part of the operation.

The size and shape of the concrete blocks to be recycled typically determine the best strategy.Recycling old concrete may save you money on development while also benefiting the environment.

Recycled concrete not only keeps waste out of dumps, but it also replaces resources like as stone that would otherwise have to be mined and delivered.

How Concrete Is Recycled

Concrete is recycled using industrial crushing machinery with jaws and huge impactors.

After the material has been split, it is often screened and sent through a further impactor to remove the excess and particles while also separating the big and small material.

Water flotation, separators, and magnets, among other techniques and equipment, may be used to separate certain components from cracked concrete.

Pulverizing the concrete is an alternative method, but it is not always the best option because it complicates the separation process and may result in additional pollution from smaller residues.

Equipment Used to Recycle Concrete

When considering concrete recycling, consider your alternatives for crushing the concrete A portable crusher that can be moved to multiple locations or projects may be the most practical option.

It is typically better to position a portable crusher in a central location, close to the area where the concrete is being crushed yet far enough away from site activity to avoid disruptions.

When purchasing processing equipment, keep the following aspects in mind.

To separate steel from concrete, utilize a powerful magnetic, water flotation, or air separation equipment.

  • Using separate hydraulic stands speeds up setup.
  • Control mechanisms might be automatic, manual, or remote.
  • Loaders, crushers, and cone systems may be used to transform concrete from destruction to reusable material.

Benefits of Concrete Recycling

Concrete recycling reduces building waste, increases landfill life, and saves builders money on removal and dumping costs.

Because concrete is commonly recycled near to the demolition or building site, it also saves money on shipment.

Builders can get points for utilizing recycled concrete while obtaining LEED Green Building certification.

In rare cases, recycling activities provide new job possibilities that would not have existed otherwise.

Tips for recycling concrete

Reach out to Construction Companies Directly

You may contact construction businesses by searching for their contact information online.

You can inquire whether they will pick up the old concrete from your area.

Most construction companies recycle and use concrete on a regular basis for a number of purposes.

If you contact them directly, they may come by for a pickup, saving you even more money.

Listing your concrete online

If you have extra concrete from a building job, you may sell it online.

You may advertise the excess concrete on Craigslist and other comparable websites.

Many small construction businesses may come over to pick up the concrete for free.

They may require additional funds to complete their task.

Don’t worry, your concrete will never be thrown away.

Many firms and individuals use concrete, and you can save money by sending the materials rather than dumping them in landfills.

Contact Landscape Companies

The landscape design industry has created some very interesting recycled concrete uses.

The strength of concrete is what permits it to be employed in so many various applications.

Contact local landscaping providers in your region; they will gladly collect your old concrete.

While they cannot take large volumes of leftover concrete, make sure to verify with them before bringing your concrete.

Uses for Old Concrete

Recycled concrete may be used in many of the same applications as new materials, such as gravel, paving materials, and sediments.

Paving that is permeable for walkways, driveways, and other outdoor hard surfaces: Carefully prepared broken concrete offers a durable, permeable road surface through which rainwater can filter.

This method contributes to groundwater recharge by minimizing the amount of runoff water that must be regulated by storm sewer systems.

Base layer for new asphalt paving

Using a technique called as rubblization, old concrete pavement may be broken in place and used as a base layer for pavement surface poured over it.

Material for trench bed foundations carrying subterranean utility lines

To aid drainage, utility ditches are typically covered with gravel, and crushed concrete is a decent, low-cost replacement for gravel.

Crushed concrete can be used to replace some of the virgin (fresh) aggregate used in ready-mix concrete.

Larger chunks of crushed concrete can be used to limit streambank erosion by putting them along weak stream banks or gullies.

Mulch for landscaping

Ground concrete, when properly crushed and sorted, can be used to replace river rock or other gravels used as ground covers and mulch.

Fill for wire gabions

Gabions (crushed gravel-filled wire cages) can be used to construct both attractive and functional privacy screen walls or retaining walls.

Large concrete slabs strategically placed offshore can act as the basis for coral to establish new marine reef ecosystems.

Where can you use recycled concrete?

Concrete has a long lifespan and is a versatile material.

As a result, you’ll witness inventive uses of recycled concrete in all aspects of our life.

Builders and construction businesses are using reclaimed concrete in their procedures.

Construction businesses may utilize concrete for a variety of purposes since it is resilient and has a distinct composition.

Let’s have a look at some of the practical applications for recovered concrete.

Aggregate for Concrete

Crushed concrete can be used as a dry material while making new concrete.

Because the crushed concrete has been cleaned and is free of contaminants, it may be utilized to make new concrete.

Landscaping Supplies

In an appealing landscape situation, recycled crushed concrete of varying sizes can serve a variety of diverse functions.

Crushed concrete may readily replace gravel in garden walls, trench bed foundations, terrace foundations, and the construction of patios, walkways, and trails.

The most common sort of recyclable crushed concrete is known as “urbanite.”

Construction of Wire Cages

You may fill wire gabions with recycled crushed concrete and stack them to make a useful retaining wall.

These wire fences are also useful for protecting river banks.

They may also be used as stylish yet functional privacy screens.

Road Construction

Gravel is utilized in new road construction as the sub-base layer.

You can replace the usage of gravel with less expensive concrete.

The recycled concrete offers the optimum mix for a long-lasting basis on which to lay cement and asphalt.


You may use old concrete in new and imaginative ways now that you understand the sensible benefits of reusing it.

Make sure you follow your state’s concrete disposal rules and help minimize landfill trash by recycling concrete!


  • Jen Wheeler

    Jen Wheeler, co-founder of Recycling-Revolution.com, holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford. A renowned environmentalist, she's championed sustainable practices at global events and leads EcoBright Solutions, focusing on recycling education and eco-friendly products.

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