The importance of recycled construction materials grows every year. As seen with glass and aluminum, the act of recycling concrete protects natural resources while also eliminating the amount of material in landfills.  

Demolition contractors in Portland can salvage concrete from buildings, roads, and parking lots, then crush the old material into small pieces. After that, it can be used for a wide variety of applications. 

Not only is recycled aggregate concrete good for the environment, but it is also beneficial to your bottom line. The concrete can be sold or reused in other ways to help offset your demolition project costs.

What is Recycled Concrete Aggregate (RCA)?

RCA consists of concrete and asphalt that is processed to different specifications. There are many different grades of RCA available, the higher quality material generally undergoes the most processing and removal of impurities. 

To access old concrete, buildings are torn down using precision equipment to extract valuable materials. Next, the old concrete is ground into gravel-sized pieces which can then be further repurposed. During this time, other materials like metal and steel are often removed as well. 

Is RCA as Strong as Regular Concrete? 

Many people assume that recycled materials aren’t as strong as their newly made counterparts. However, RCA is widely known for being as strong or even stronger than normal concrete. The quality and strength of RCA largely has to do with the original source material, as well as the number of steps in the processing and refinement process. 

As The Portland Cement Association (PCA) explains, “Recycled concrete aggregates produced from all but the poorest quality original concrete can be expected to pass the same tests required of conventional aggregates.” When the proper steps are taken, RCA can be used for even the most demanding purposes seen with normal concrete. 

What is Recycled Concrete Commonly Used For? 

Depending on the source material and amount of processing, you can use RCA for any job where normal concrete would be utilized. In some instances, crushed but unprocessed RCA material is used for less important purposes like fill for landscaping and road construction. 

Common ways that recycled concrete is used include: 

  • Driveways and roads 
  • Pathways
  • Garden beds 
  • Structural parts
  • Fills, banks, and embankments  
  • Drainage structures 

In certain instances when buildings are being remodeled or rebuilt, RCA can actually be repurposed in the exact same site it came from. 

What are the Environmental Benefits of Recycled Concrete?

Many environmental benefits come from using recycled concrete. With environmentalism growing more important each year, the positive impact of RCA shouldn’t be ignored. 

Using RCA greatly reduces the amount of concrete that is deposited in landfills by demolition teams. Additionally, reusing old materials greatly reduces the amount of gravel and sand that would normally be mined. In either case, concrete recycling helps slow disruptions in the natural world. 

When you repurpose old concrete already found on construction or demolition sites, you eliminate the need to haul heavy loads of new concrete with large trucks that burn fossil fuels. 

Offset Demolition Project Costs With Concrete Crushing & Recycling

One of the keys to making RCA is obtaining source materials from old buildings and construction sites. As a top Pacific Northwest commercial demolition company, Elder’s asset recovery and concrete crushing services play a pivotal role in concrete recycling throughout the Pacific Northwest. 

Contact us to discuss our demolition and asset recovery services.