Disposing of any leftover concrete or building material after demolition or on completion of a remodel or new construction can be a time-consuming and difficult task to complete. With a worldwide restriction on depositing concrete rubble in landfills due to ongoing environmental concerns, the construction industry has looked to find ways of reusing leftover concrete to our benefit and crushed recycled concrete is just one way we have come up with.
We’re going to take a look at some of the biggest benefits of using crushed recycled concrete in construction and the ways that it can help save contractors time and money.
Back when construction rubble was consigned to landfills, it would remain there indefinitely and taking up a lot of space. While it did remove the debris from the construction site, it essentially just moved the problem from one place to another while also removing the materials from further use. By recycling and repurposing the concrete aggregate, the leftover material can be reused in future construction projects to help make them both more economically and more ecologically viable.
Time & Workload
Removing concrete from a demolition or renovation site takes time and a staggering amount of effort. Organising collection and distribution, as well as the actual loading and unloading of the material, can add delays and costs that would be best avoided. By either employing a company to remove and recycle your rubble for you, or by feeding it into a portable crusher on-site, you can save time and money in the long run. Turning your waste material into crushed recycled concrete also opens up the possibility of potentially sourcing cheaper materials going forward.
As touched upon before, recycling concrete removes an element of the strain on regular landfill sites. This alone is a huge bonus, as landfills in general cause a number of environmental issues such as water contamination and air pollution. By reducing the amount of space taken up by construction and demolition waste, fewer landfills need to be created overall, reducing the number of landfill sites required. It has been estimated that recycling a single ton of cement could save 1,360 gallons of water and 900kg of C02.
As a cheaper and more affordable alternative to new aggregate, crushed recycled concrete can be an invaluable tool when it comes to construction. But there are also other uses for the recycled chunks. Larger pieces of crushed concrete can be converted into what is known as “riprap” revetments, commonly used to help control the erosion of riverbanks and waterways. Other large pieces are often packed into steel gabions to provide additional support in the form of economical retaining walls, or even stacked to enhance privacy as a form of screening wall.
On top of saving you money through the reduced number of man-hours devoted to dealing with rubble, using crushed recycled concrete can have a direct influence on the costs of construction and a project’s profit margins. By reducing the scarcity of concrete aggregates, you lower the costs to your organisation even without taking into account the fact all of that can be done on-site, saving you transport costs and the pollution that goes with it.
Recycling construction and demolition waste are becoming the industry standard for all of the reasons we’ve listed here and more. With ecological and economic factors all pointing towards recycled concrete as being the way forward, adopting it sooner rather than later can put you in a good position to reap the benefits early.