Good news: concrete can be recycled. Not only does the production of new concrete produce higher levels of CO2, but it also damages the planet in other ways through the use of natural resources.
Recycling this versatile material is better for the environment and can also have other economic benefits.
Here are the main five reasons to recycle concrete:
Cement is one of the main components of concrete and contributes to approximately 7% of the world’s CO2 emissions. A study carried out by Heriot Watt University has shown that concrete made with recycled material produced approximately 40% less CO2.
By recycling concrete, we can conserve natural resources such as gravel, sand, and water that are typically used in concrete production. This can help to reduce the environmental impact of concrete production.
Concrete is one of the most widely used materials in construction, so there’s a lot of it around. Recycling concrete can help to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills, which can save space and reduce the environmental impact of waste disposal.
Various industries can benefit from recycled concrete as it can be used in a variety of applications such as road bases, landscaping and new construction. Using recycled concrete is cheaper and prevents new aggregate (e.g., sand and gravel) from being dug and transported.
Using recycled concrete can also help the construction industry meet sustainability goals and reduce the environmental impact of construction projects.
Recycling concrete involves a process of breaking down, removing and crushing the concrete from demolition sites into reusable materials. Here are the steps typically involved in recycling concrete:
Yes, it is possible to recycle reinforced concrete.
Reinforced concrete contains steel bars (also known as rebar - “reinforcing bar”) to provide additional strength and support. Recycling reinforced concrete involves the same process as recycling regular concrete, with the added step of separating the rebar from the concrete.
When the rebar is separated, it can often also be recycled.
The crushed concrete can be used for a variety of construction processes:
The aggregate from recycled concrete can be used to replace the gravel in new concrete, reducing the need to remove and transport more natural resources.
Crushed concrete can be used as a base material for roads and highways. This helps to reduce the need for new materials and saves natural resources.
The crushed, recycled concrete can be used as a landscaping material, such as for retaining walls, garden beds and walkways.
Crushed concrete can be used for erosion control, to stabilise stream beds or act as a filter layer for drainage systems.
Crushed concrete can be used as a bedding material in trenches for pipes, helping to stabilise them and prevent movement.
At Nationwide Concreting, we’re dedicated to helping companies reach their sustainability targets. To help, we’ve partnered with Primekss who produce eco-friendly PrīmX concrete flooring.
PrīmX produces 70% less CO2 emissions compared to traditional concrete, making it a much greener choice.
Give us a call on 01590 676 585 or fill out our contact form to find out how we could help make your next project more sustainable.