The waste generated at Portland demolition and construction sites accounts for about 25 percent of the waste found in city landfills. Much of this waste can be recycled or reused, including concrete. The concrete crusher at Elder Demolition makes us one of the most environmentally proactive demolition companies in Oregon and the Northwest. The impressive equipment crushes pieces of concrete into reusable gravel we recycle onsite—a key component of any green demolition project. Thanks to our concrete crusher, we recycle thousands of tons of concrete at Portland demolition sites every year.
How Portland Demolition Contractors Crush Concrete
After tearing down a building using specialized equipment, such as high-reach excavators, our crew places concrete into discrete piles and removes extraneous materials. Using an excavator, workers load the salvaged pieces of concrete into a crusher.
The machine grinds the pieces of concrete into gravel-sized chunks that are great for structural fill, pipe bedding, road compaction and other applications. You can also mix crushed concrete with sand, water, Portland cement and virgin aggregate to make new concrete that’s stronger and lighter than using concrete made of virgin materials. After concrete passes through a crusher, workers separate the pieces by size and remove any scrap metal using strong electromagnets.
Benefits of Crushing Concrete on Portland Demolition Sites
- Concrete is recyclable: After water, concrete is the most consumed material in the world. With buildings containing up to 80 percent concrete, it’s easy to see how the construction industry uses it two times more than all other building materials combined. While you can’t break it completely down, you may use concrete as an aggregate or to make new cement.
- Earn LEED points: Adding concrete crushing to your Portland demolition or construction project may help you earn coveted LEED points. It takes water, coal, oil and gas to mine gravel, a limited resource. When you crush concrete onsite, you reduce your project’s carbon footprint. Simply recycling one ton of concrete saves up to 1,984 pounds of carbon dioxide and 1,300 gallons of water. Elder’s concrete crushing services allow you to reuse the recycled material onsite, which helps save fuel.
- Durability: Because concrete is so tough, it doesn’t break down easily in landfills. This makes it a good candidate for reusing and recycling. Even crushed and recycled concrete is long-lasting and resists impacts, the elements, pests and sunlight.
- Versatility: Crushed concrete can be used for a number of applications, including landscaping, foundations, structural fill, road bases, leveling, backfill, pipe bedding, erosion control, and to make new concrete.
Types of Concrete Crushers
Jaw crushers use two vertically-oriented tapered “jaws” that work similarly as a nutcracker’s jaws. A flywheel makes the jaws open and close, allowing only small pieces of concrete to pass.
Some impact crushers fling pieces of concrete against a hard surface at a high velocity, causing the material to break naturally along internal fissures. Other types of impact crushers use a hammer to break concrete placed on the outer edge of a spinning rotor. This type of crusher is great for concrete with wire mesh or rebar.
Cone crushers are not commonly used on Oregon demolition sites. They have a conical shape and accept concrete at the base. Two gyrating spindles inside the machine squeeze the pieces of concrete together, causing them to break and exit through an opening in the cone.
Concrete Crushing Best Practices
- Safety: Safety during the concrete recycling process is paramount. All workers must use the appropriate safety equipment. Vehicles must have backup alarms, brakes and horns that work well.
- Quality of raw material: Before crushing concrete, it must be free of foreign materials, such as plastic, glass, tile and wood.
- Quality control: Primary and secondary crushers are equipped with magnets to remove scrap metal, which demolition companies in Portland can help you sell or recycle.
- Dust control: Crystalline silica particles found within the dust generated by concrete crushing activities can cause adverse health effects if inhaled. To keep workers and the public safe, Oregon demolition contractors use dust control measures to contain and dispose of the particles safely. These techniques include using wetting agents, setting up construction barriers, using HEPA-equipped vacuums, and employing dust suppressors during crushing activities. In addition to protecting human health, dust control techniques also help protect the environment.
How Portland’s Concrete Industry Supports Oregon’s Development
Oregon is the ninth fastest-growing U.S. state. This growth is fueling the state’s concrete industry as it works hard to keep pace. Oregon is home to 94 ready-mix concrete plants, one cement plant, and 27 additional terminals and plants that provide contractors with the building materials needed to sustain the state’s growth. Because Oregon produces concrete locally, construction-related aggregate production and recycling supports thousands of jobs.
Concrete’s many benefits help save taxpayer money. Its durability, strength and rigidity make it the most efficient option for Oregon’s public roads. Concrete’s natural reflectivity on sidewalks and streets reduce the amount of energy used for nighttime illumination. During the summer, concrete prevents an urban island heat effect and reduces smog. Because concrete is pervious, it naturally filters rainwater, helping make runoff healthier when it enters watersheds. As construction continues to grow at a record pace, the need for recycled concrete will increase.
Elder Demolition’s Concrete Crushing Services
Oregon demolition sites have thousands of tons of concrete. Instead of pay a hefty fine to dump the material in landfills, it makes sense to reduce demolition project costs by recycling concrete onsite. Even if Elder Demolition didn’t tear down your building, we’ll happily visit your site to crush concrete and maximize the assets you recovered.
Get in touch with Elder Demolition to find out more about our concrete crushing equipment and how it can benefit your project’s bottom line.