One of the most common waste types on a building site or demolition job is concrete waste. Whether that’s from an old slab, a footpath or something else, concrete waste can be awkward to deal with, especially for smaller building or demolition companies. It’s heavy, and when broken up into rubble, machinery is usually required to shift it all.
The good news about concrete waste is that virtually 100% of it can be reused or recycled. There are many uses for it, and a number of facilities in Sydney that specialise in recycling concrete and other building materials. Let’s take a closer look below.
What is concrete made of?
Concrete consists of mostly naturally occurring materials. The breakdown is as follows:
– 10-15% cement
– 15-20% water
– 65-75% aggregates, such as sand and crushed stone.
The cement and the water are mixed together to make the paste, which binds the entire mixture together. When it sets, it becomes concrete as we see it every single day.
Cement itself is a manufactured powder that is made up of several chemicals and compounds. It consists of lime, silica, alumina, magnesia, sulfur trioxide and smaller amounts of some other chemicals.
How much concrete waste do we produce in Australia?
Each year, we produce more than 20 million tonnes of construction waste across Australia. A large portion of that is concrete waste. The rest of it is made of of common building materials, such as brick, tiles, timber, metals, plastic and earth. While we’re good at building in Australia, our track record in reusing and recycling building materials is not great. Only a small percentage of that 20 million tonnes is recycled
Can concrete be recycled?
Yes, concrete can be recycled by certified facilities! Concrete is regarded as a very sustainable and environmentally friendly material, and there are many ways it can be recycled and reused.
It’s good to remember that you may be able to reuse your concrete waste at home, or on a small building site, without having to take the concrete to a facility.
A number of companies in Sydney take old concrete waste from builders, demolition companies and rubbish removal organisations. They crush it down, after which it can be used in many different ways.
– As aggregate for new construction projects, where it can be mixed with cement and water again to form concrete.
– As road base when building new roads or repairing existing thoroughfares.
– As fill for landscapers, used beneath paving and behind retaining walls.
– As drainage by plumbers and builders.
– As a base before a slab is poured for a new house or building.
Concrete does not need to go to waste, and many can benefit from it being recycled and reused.
Why should we recycle concrete?
We should be doing our best to reuse and recycle every type of material used on a building site. The same ethos applies to all… the more that we recycle, the less waste ends up in landfills. For concrete, it would simply be taking up dead space, increasing the volume of landfill waste and potentially impacting the environment.
Moreover, we should always be recycling concrete, because we can! It means less natural materials required for new concrete products, meaning less mining and fewer projects that are harmful to the environment. This is something that we all need to take into consideration, especially in the construction and demolition industry, which has a particularly close relationship to the environment.
In the long run, recycling concrete waste also makes plenty of financial sense. Recycling and reusing these compounds will inevitably make the entire process cheaper, because doing so is much more affordable than creating brand new materials.
How to make sure your concrete is recycled
Do you want to recycle your concrete waste? The most best way to do so, especially if you are operating with minimal amounts of waste, is to reuse it on site, where possible. If you are running a demolition project, then this is often not possible. But if you’re working on a new build or a renovation, you may be able to incorporate concrete waste back into your project.
For larger projects with more sizable amounts of concrete and building rubbish, you may well require the help of a Sydney rubbish removal contractor. At Sydney City Rubbish, we’ve helped countless organisations shift building and demolition waste, including old concrete. We can help ensure that it is delivered to a recycling facility, from where it can be reincorporated into the construction process.
Expert Sydney construction waste removal
Looking for the best rubbish removal in Sydney? Look no further than Sydney City Rubbish. We work with businesses and individuals all over the city to remove waste in a fast and friendly manner. We’re the experts in rubbish and junk removal, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. We can’t wait to hear from you!