Recycling 101: Can Concrete Be Recycled?

How do you dispose of concrete? Can concrete be recycled and, if so, what is recycled concrete used for?

When you finish a home improvement project and are stuck with a pile of leftover concrete, you find yourself asking questions like these. Or, perhaps you’re thinking about redoing your driveway and aren’t sure how to handle the cleanup.

Either way, if you’ve you’re wondering what to do with all that used concrete, keep reading. We have the answers to all these questions and more in the following guide. Read this guide to learn all you need to know about concrete recycling.

Can Concrete Be Recycled?

Yes, concrete can, and should, be recycled. The fact is that concrete production is responsible for 8% of all CO2 emissions in the entire world. Due to its many uses in construction projects, it’s the most heavily-consumed manmade material there is.

Recycling concrete reduces the amount we need to create, which will have a hugely beneficial impact on the environment. Plus, all the used concrete in the world would take up mountains of space if chucked in a landfill. Besides, there are far too many applications for recycled concrete to simply waste it all in this way.

How Is Concrete Recycled?

Recycling concrete can be as simple as using the broken chunks to make walls, planters, or a cobblestone-like path in your back yard.

But, most of the time, concrete is thoroughly broken down and cleared of contaminants to be reused in a new way. Sometimes, the components that make up the concrete (like sand and gravel) are separated out for various uses.

These components can be used to make other products or to make new concrete. This significantly reduces the environmental impact of harvesting these components from nature.

What Is Recycled Concrete Used For?

Aside from the above examples, there are many other uses for recycled concrete. When reduced to rubble, it can be used as a foundation for laying asphalt.

This rubble can be used in a similar way as a foundation for certain, underground construction projects. Also, the rubble can be laid as-is for driveways or pathways.

Larger pieces can be used as barriers against landslides. Used concrete can even be placed in the ocean to assist and shape the formation of a coral reef.

How Will You Recycle Concrete?

How can concrete be recycled after your current home improvement project? Well, if you research it online, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a concrete company/recycling center near you that can use it. Or, you can get someone to break it up for you to use in your next landscaping project.

Either way, we know you’ll do the right thing. For our planet’s sake, always recycle your concrete rather than dumping it.

Home improvement projects produce a lot of waste. If you want to know how to recycle/dispose of other materials, we have the advice you need. Check out our Home Guide section for more or search for an article using the search icon in the top right of this page.