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Can Concrete Be Recycled?



Concrete CAN be recycled.

More Info: Not only can concrete be recycled, it can save you considerable money on your construction project in hauling and disposing costs.


How is Concrete Recycled?

Concrete can be recycled for use in one of two ways.

Aggregate Material: Recycled concrete can be processed for use as an aggregate material to make more cement.  In this recycling process, the cement must be broken and crushed to a specified size and all embedded items, such as glass or steel, must be removed to prevent contamination.

Filler/Subbase: Recycled concrete can be used ‘as is’ and simply broken up without screening out contaminants.  This concrete can be used for bulk landfill, pavement subbases, road construction, and bank protection.

How Is Concrete Processed for Use as an Aggregate Material?

Chunks of concrete from a demolition project are recycled by processing them through a crusher until the desired size is achieved.  The concrete must be unadulterated to be recycled.  Any embedded materials such as rebar must be removed as well as any building material that may have adhered to the concrete such as sheetrock, glass, wood, or roofing materials.  When natural sand has been added to a concrete mixture, recycled concrete can replace up to 30% of the natural aggregate.

How Is Recycled Concrete Used?

Recycled concrete can be reused in a variety of applications primarily to make more concrete.  The small chunks of concrete are a perfect aggregate choice in the concrete mixture in place of a portion of the aggregate material.  Recycled concrete can even be made into new Portland cement.  It is often used in construction projects for new concrete pavement, sidewalks, curbs, medians, and as a soil-cement pavement base.



“Recycling Concrete – How to Recycle Concrete – The Concrete Network.” Concrete Design Ideas, Contractors and Pictures – The Concrete Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Nov. 2011.

“Concrete Technology: Recycled Aggregates.” Portland Cement Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Nov. 2011.

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