With new construction on the rise, the demand for concrete has never been higher. From its manufacturing to its disposal, concrete can pose several environmental risks. As the need for concrete increases, so does the need to quarry its raw materials (limestone, et cetera). More concrete means more transportation of concrete – compounding environmental concerns. Finally, post-demolition, this non-biodegradable concrete debris has been routinely sent to landfills where it will ostensibly sit forever. However, more and more, builders and contractors are becoming aware of not just the cost savings of working with recycled concrete but the environmental benefits as well.
But how does concrete get recycled?
Construction and demolition (C&D) concrete recycling begins by first contacting a concrete waste recycling company which has both SWPPP and LEED expertise – a company with a proven track record of providing innovative solutions for concrete waste management – a company like Diligent Services. Concrete waste is typically the result of the demolition of an old structure or waste produced during new construction. Aside from just concrete, our containers and bins accept cementitious materials (pump washout, ready mix washout … learn more about our Concrete Washout solutions), plaster, grout, stone veneer, brick, CMU block, block pavers, concrete walling, stucco, shotcrete, pool plaster, rubble and mortar. In short, if it’s concrete used in road building, construction, manufacturing or anything in between, Diligent Services will help you find the best way to recycle it.
After collection, the concrete waste is transported to a concrete recycling center. These high-quality aggregate manufacturing plants will sort and screen the incoming concrete waste after running it first through industrial-strength crushing equipment (think: metal jaws and large whirling impactors). The screen process often includes separators, water floatation, and strong magnets to remove specific elements from the concrete waste. The waste is eventually crushed down into powder form. This recycled concrete powder can then be mixed with water, sand, cement raw material and unused aggregate to make new cement.
But how strong is recycled concrete?
The Federal Highway Administration have conducted studies which show that recycled concrete is just as structurally reliable and safe as virgin aggregate materials.
Because recycled concrete is less expensive to produce, contractors enjoy the cost benefits. More important, recycled concrete is an environmentally-friendly alternative because it requires less use of natural resources to produce and – since concrete recycling centers are often local – working with recycled concrete means its transportation to job sites creates a smaller carbon footprint. On top of all that, working with recycled concrete means freeing up space in landfills for waste which is actually biodegradable.
Hiring Diligent Services to collect and recycle your concrete waste means reducing your disposal costs… and that’s a really good thing! But the even bigger benefit is knowing that your team is doing its part to reduce your construction project’s environmental impact.
Contact Diligent Services today to learn about our concrete recycling solutions.