Concrete Recycling – How We Do It

There are many benefits of hiring the right type of skip bins customers need for all waste materials. Not the least of these is the reduced impact on landfills. While this is great for the environment, it also keeps costs down for any waste removal operation, however big or small.

By definition, landfill sites are kept as far away as possible from areas of high population. This incurs a relatively high cost for any materials needing to be delivered to them. The ideal solution to any waste problem is recycling, and this is as true for concrete as all other waste products.

At Best Price Skip Bins, we help match the right skip bin hire the environment and resident needs. Firstly, we clarify the type of waste collected. We have two choices of skip to collect concrete, depending on the amount to be disposed of. As these are processed in specific ways, other types of waste do not have to be removed during the recycling process.

Crushing Process

Used concrete blocks and fragments are processed at crushing facilities. This is where it is important that it has been collected separately from other materials, such as plastics, paper and wood. The concrete is crushed into smaller parts for use in the manufacture of other concrete products. This, in turn, reduces production costs for the “new” concrete.

Of course, concrete construction blocks and methods include reinforcement to add strength to structures. Rebar is often used to strengthen concrete. Also, there are different methods of metal reinforcement depending on the size and type of structure being demolished.

Some construction projects use continuous reinforcement throughout large expanses of concrete constructions such as walls and foundation columns. Other constructions use concrete which is reinforced with a lighter metal mesh. Once demolition has taken place, these metals are still present within the concrete.

Separation Methods

Concrete recycling plants use magnets to remove metal reinforcements from the concrete itself. This is a very effective way of separating the two materials. As the concrete is reduced to smaller pieces by crushers, the metal is freed from the composition. It is then pulled out of the rubble by strong magnets during the recycling process. These metals can then be melted down for use in further construction projects, again adding value to the process.

From a side conveyor belt, the crushed concrete enters a screening plant, which will process rubble of certain dimensions. If any pieces are too large to be handled, these are transferred to another conveyor. This takes the pieces back to the crusher for the process to be repeated.

Once the concrete has been crushed to sizes of manageable proportions, these are further separated according to size. Chunks of larger sizes can be used for strengthening projects.  A good example is revetments which protect the banks of streams and rivers from erosion.

Further Refinement

Smaller concrete pieces are used in certain construction materials. One is sub base gravel which is the bottom most layer of material used in road building. This is an excellent way of recycling concrete, as this level of processing can be done on site. Many highway projects use this to upgrade existing roads.

Concrete rubble crushed to a small enough degree is further separated into its constituent parts by methods such as water flotation. By introducing water, lighter materials float to the surface.  They are then skimmed off, leaving the heavier materials within the water. This residue is then dried, producing more usable aggregate material.

As concrete refined to this degree is viewed as being uncontaminated, it can be used as aggregate for making new concrete. This significantly reduces the cost of making concrete. It is used in different proportions to change the property of the new concrete. This gives concrete makers a high degree of control over the relative strength, flexibility etc. of their product.

Expanding Operations

Recycling concrete is becoming increasingly popular. Tighter environmental regulations mean that the production and use of concrete are major considerations for any construction project. As well as the economic cost of sourcing new concrete, there is the prospect of financial and operational penalties which may be imposed.

This means that more recycling plants are opening up across the country, especially in the cities. There is a huge pool of potentially recyclable concrete in towns and cities. Therefore, the possible benefits of recycling are highest in these population centres.

There is an increasing number of moveable facilities that can be transported to construction sites, especially road-building projects. The evolution of concrete recycling has led to very compact plants that can still recycle 150 tonnes per hour.

Every Little Helps

With the increasing number of recycling plants comes the opportunity to make use of this great cost-saving service. Multi-storey blocks may produce the most concrete to be recycled per building. However, actually obtaining and processing these in urban areas is quite complicated.

By comparison, suburban renovations in large numbers provide concrete which is easily gathered and separated. This makes it more cost-effective to process. By choosing suitable skip bins, residents can contribute to the recycling process. As domestic and small business renovations are unlikely to produce heavily reinforced concrete, separation at recycling plants is relatively easy.

Suburbs are capable of producing an extremely useful amount of recyclable concrete. Homeowners and small business operators may already be more aware of the need to recycle substances such as plastics. However, those carrying out renovation or demolition work can also be sure their time and money will be well spent properly disposing of building materials such as concrete.

By accessing the great range of skip bins, we can help customers make the right choice. Rather than being a chore, thinking seriously about waste management can be rewarding in more ways than one. Choosing the right type of skip bin gives the best value waste solution in both financial and environmental terms.