Recycled Concrete and its Uses in Construction

December 8, 2022

We live in an increasingly eco-conscious society, and that means more recycled products are finding their way into our everyday lives. You may buy things made from recycled paper or even plastic, but did you know that you can even get recycled concrete? Here’s everything you need to know about recycled concrete and how it is used in various construction projects.

How is Concrete Recycled?

Have you ever wondered what happens to big commercial or office buildings once they’re torn down? Where does all that concrete go? While it may have gone into a landfill several years ago, these days, more of that concrete than ever before is being recycled. The concrete is broken down, then removed from the site and crushed into tiny pieces that serve as a major part of the aggregate for “new” concrete. Whether you need a new concrete patio and you’re curious about the benefits or want to know what to do with your old concrete stairs, recycling is a fantastic option.

Concrete can be recycled in any amount, whether it’s an entire 10-story building or your average patio or driveway. Sometimes, you can even hire a company to pull up your old driveway, recycle the concrete, and then use the recycled concrete in the new driveway!

Benefits of Recycled Concrete

When concrete is recycled, it’s better for your wallet and the planet in several ways. The costs associated with taking building materials to landfills continues to climb, and that’s after you pay someone to transport the debris on your behalf – another cost that continues to rise. When you choose to recycle the concrete with Interstate Concrete & Asphalt, you won’t have to pay heightened landfill pricing, being that our disposal fees are substantially lower. Environmentally, concrete recycling is also a benefit because it reduces the need for energy that would otherwise go into quarrying the rock, processing the product, or transporting new aggregate across the country. In some cases, recycled concrete is up to 15% lighter, which means you get more concrete per your volume order.

Most Common Uses for Recycled Concrete

When concrete is no longer needed, it is processed into recycled aggregate that can be used in place of all kinds of other aggregates. Some of the most common uses for recycled concrete include:

  • Roadways: Many of the roadways being built today contain pre-used recycled concrete aggregates. Though the percentage of this aggregate varies, it is becoming increasingly more common.
  • Sidewalks: Both cities and homeowners are using recycled concrete to build sidewalks and walkways.
  • Driveways: Recycled concrete aggregate serves as the perfect base for most driveways.
  • Backfill Material: If a hole or trench exists within a project, recycled concrete aggregate is a phenomenal product for filling it in.
  • Shoulder Stone: Recycled concrete is also exceptional for creating shoulder stone that compacts well and creates a stable base.

Concrete recycling has come a long way over the years. Today, it’s a practice that continues to grow more popular due to the money savings and environmental benefits. Whether you’re interested in recycling concrete or you want to buy recycled concrete for a project, the availability has never been better. Just give Interstate Concrete and Asphalt a call and we’ll gladly give you an overview of how we can use recycled concrete in your next project.