The demolition industry is responsible for recycling more concrete than any other industry. We are constantly trying to find new ways to reuse concrete and lower the need for new concrete to be made. Once the concrete is recycled it can be used in a wide variety of ways.
Small bits of concrete can be used as gravel in new construction projects. A lot of these small bits are used as sub-base, which is the lowest layer of a road. Once the sub-base layer is down, a fresh layer of asphalt will be poured over it. The Federal Highway Administration uses this technique to rebuild highways. They’ll tear up the existing highway, crush the concrete, and then use it as sub-base for the new highway.
When concrete is crushed to the right specifications, it can also be used as the dry aggregate for a fresh batch of new concrete. Through a process called rubblization, concrete pavement is broken in place and then used as a base layer for a new asphalt surface.
Here are a few other ways recycled concrete can be used:
- Large pieces can be used as a riprap revetment (a streambank erosion method).
- Visually pleasing pieces are frequently used as landscaping stones.
- Crushed concrete can be poured into wire gabions and used as retaining walls and fences.
Recycling concrete is just one way the demolition is leading the way when it comes to recycling. We also recycle an incredible about of steel and other construction materials. It’s our goal to make good use of everything we demolish and limit what we put in landfills.