Why Concrete is Now Recycled
Concrete is a material that’s made out of several other highly recyclable materials. In the past, the concrete that resulted from the demolition of structures was usually just brought to a landfill. With recycling becoming such an important and profitable industry, however, concrete has become one of the many materials that have proven themselves to be worth recycling, saving the energy needed to manufacture more concrete and the costs to the environment related to the production of the material.
Concrete is recycled through a process of crushing, filtering and reconstituting the material. The concrete from a building demolition is collected, trucked to a recycling center and sorted. Anything that isn’t metal or concrete is removed from the material and disposed of. The concrete is then crushed and the metal is removed by magnets. Rebar and other metals can be recycled separately from the concreted.
Much of what makes up concrete simply crushes down and is entirely useable again. Fly ash and other materials that are bonded together with the cement that makes up concrete are recombined and prepared to be used in making new buildings. This makes concrete one of the most highly-recyclable building materials in use.
Concrete that’s recycled helps the environment in many ways. Because there’s no need to get new materials to combine with the cement, those production and mining costs are avoided. The recycling process also removes the metal from the concrete, which introduces an entire other benefit into the whole affair that makes it even more worthwhile. Concrete recycling is now the norm for building materials. The recycled materials are very valuable and, because they can be used to construct new buildings, the cost of construction projects can actually be brought down and the same time the recycling creates value!