|Recycling concrete from
demolition project can result in considerable savings
since it saves the costs of transporting concrete to the
landfill and eliminates the cost of disposal.
As landfill costs for
construction, demolition, and land-clearing debris
continue to rise and the landfills become more heavily
regulated, it makes economic sense to seek alternative
means of disposal of concrete from construction and
demolition operations. More disposal sites are opening
up and contractors are incorporating recycling into
their operations to decrease disposal costs.
According to the American Concrete
Recycling of concrete pavement is
a relatively simple process. It involves breaking,
removing and crushing concrete from an existing pavement
into a material with a specified size and quality.
Crushed concrete may be reused as
an aggregate in new Portland cement concrete or any
other structural layer. Generally it is combined with a
virgin aggregate when used in new concrete. However,
recycled concrete is more often used as aggregate in a
Several advances have made
recycling more economical for all types of concrete
pavements in recent years. These include:
•Development of equipment for
breaking concrete pavements be they plain,
mesh-and-dowel or continuously reinforced.
•Development of methods to remove
steel that minimizes hand labor.
•Use and application of crushing
equipment that can accommodate steel reinforcement.
There are no restrictions on the
types of concrete pavements that can be recycled.
Successful and economical recycling projects have
included jointed plain pavement, jointed reinforced
pavement, continuously reinforced pavement and even
airport pavement over 17 inches thick.
Arrangements can be made to haul
concrete from a demolition site to the recycling plant,
or, in some cases, recyclers are able to move portable
recycling machinery to the plant site.
In terms of the overall
environment, recycling concrete greatly saves energy
compared to mining, processing and transporting new
aggregates. And while not considered environmentally
damaging, the large volume of concrete waste generated
during demolition makes it difficult for landfills to
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