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What Happens to Recycled Concrete

Do you often wonder what happens to recycled concrete?  With advanced technology and enhanced environmental responsiveness, it is now reused in paving applications across the country.

Recycling concrete into new pavements and construction projects offers significant economic and environmental benefits. The most important of these are reduction in cost of transporting and disposing it in a landfill, less energy consumption and minimizing the pollution that arises on account of concrete disposal. As a result, almost all American states now promote the use of recycled concrete in paving roads and sidewalks, landscaping and other applications.

How is Concrete Recycled?

Concrete recycling is a fairly simple process that typically involves the following steps:

  • Demolished concrete structures are taken to recycling sites. They must be cleaned of trash, wood, paper, plastic and other organic materials before being put into the crusher. This can be done in a variety of ways such as hand-picking, water flotation or the use of air separators. Electromagnetic separators are generally used to remove rebar and other metals that the demolished concrete might contain.
  • The concrete is then sorted according to size with larger chunks being put through the crushing machine multiple times if necessary.
  • Crushed concrete aggregate is then filtered again for enhanced purity.

What is recycled concrete used for? 

There is no restriction on the type of concrete that can be recycled. The American Concrete Paving Association further says that, recycled concrete aggregates are suitable for any application in which virgin aggregate can be used, and even in some where it typically is not.

Recycled concrete is used in numerous applications, including:

  • Gravel for new construction projects
  • Dry aggregate for making new concrete
  • Riprap revetments for controlling streambank erosion
  • As an attractive substitute for landscaping mulch or stone
  • As crushed concrete to create retaining walls and privacy screening walls

American Asphalt Concrete Contractors: Sustainable Products, Lasting Quality

At American Asphalt, we are committed to sustainable paving practices. Whether it is incorporating old tires in our slurry seal rubberized emulsion or using recycled concrete in our paving projects, we go the extra mile to save our customers money and protect the environment.

As a full service company, we provide original concrete work and repairs, often in conjunction with asphalt maintenance and construction for commercial properties across California. To ensure lasting quality, we handle every aspect of your project in-house, right from excavation, building of forms, concrete pours and finish work to ADA-compliant striping and clean up.

Customers across the Bay Area, including those in Hayward, San Jose, Fremont, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Milpitas, Pleasanton, Livermore, San Leandro, Newark, Union City, Gilroy, Palo Alto, Marin County, San Mateo, Burlingame, and Walnut Creek areas rely on our commercial paving company for attractive and safe surfaces made using the highest quality of recycled concrete.

Contact us to learn more about what happens to recycled concrete. Call us at 800-541-5559 to inquire about our paving services.

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