How is Concrete Recycled?

Concrete is used in many countless applications and is the most widely used man-made material in the world.  Even after the many decades it serves as a building or as a part of a highway, the concrete is easily recycled. 

In the past, concrete was not reused and was just taken to landfills for disposal which was wasteful and took up space.  Now concrete is routinely recycled and the aggregate that is produced is used to create new concrete or for a multitude of other purposes. 

Once a building is demolished, crews prepare the concrete by removing as many contaminates as possible such as roofing, trash, wood, and other materials.  The care that is taken at the site helps to ensure how good the product will be down the road and recycling facilities will not accept concrete that has not been reasonably cleaned.    

The reinforced steel (rebar) in the concrete is removed at the recycling site.  Huge magnets are used to attract and identify the steel for removal.  After removal, that too is targeted for recycling and sent to facilities that specialize in steel materials. 

At the recycling plant, the concrete goes through several steps that involve crushing, pre-sizing, sorting, screening and further elimination of contaminants.  It is cleaned by a water method to get rid of dirt and other remaining materials.  Especially important is getting rid of things like asphalt, sealant, chlorides and gypsum.  

There is also a market for used concrete that has not processed and screened as carefully. This aggregate can be used for fill, drainage, or as sub-base gravel before asphalt or new concrete is poured.


Conco is a leading supplier of concrete services for the Western United States. We have built our reputation in the Los Angeles area with superior concrete formwork, reinforcing, place and finish, shotcrete and other ancillary services that benefit from our vast experience. 

This entry was posted in Commercial Concrete Contractors, Concrete Pumping, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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