In the concrete industry there is a movement to move to a more carbon neutral manufacturing process. That is no easy feat as the manufacture of concrete inherently has environmental impacts regarding the key ingredient – cement – and the use of water. But that is another topic. One thing that the concrete industry can work towards is a circular economy by recycling concrete. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation the circular economy is defined as, “the circular economy is a systems solution framework that tackles global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution.” We need to to transform our throwaway economy into one where waste is eliminated, resources are circulated, and nature is regenerated.” One way we can contribute to a circular economy is to recycle the concrete waste.
“Recycling one tonne of concrete could save 6,182 litres of water and 900kg of CO2.”
Reasons to recycle concrete
Overall, concrete is long lasting and has many benefits. But there are many reasons to recycle concrete such as waste in precast, excess ready mix and demolition of old building. According to Science Focus , recycling one tonne of concrete could save 6,182 litres of water and 900kg of CO2.
Recycling concrete has numerous benefits, both environmental and economic. Here are some of the most important benefits:
- Reduced landfill waste: Recycling concrete reduces the amount of waste that would otherwise end up in landfills, which can help reduce the environmental impact of these sites.
- Reuse materials: Waste concrete can be crushed and used with other aggregates forms a concrete material that can be used for prepping foundations and driveways.
- Conservation of natural resources: Recycling concrete helps conserve natural resources by reducing the need for new raw materials to be extracted from the earth, such as gravel, sand, and water.
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- Reduced carbon emissions: Recycling concrete can reduce carbon emissions by reducing the need for transportation and manufacturing of new concrete, which can have a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
- Cost savings: Recycling concrete can save money compared to disposing of it in a landfill, as it can be used as a substitute for new concrete or as a base material for roads and other construction projects.
- Energy savings: Recycling concrete requires less energy than producing new concrete, as it doesn’t require the same amount of processing, transportation, and manufacturing.
- Increased sustainability: Recycling concrete is a sustainable practice that supports the principles of the circular economy, which seeks to reduce waste and increase resource efficiency.
Hyland Precast Concrete’s inorganic composition makes it ideal for recycling. Hyland works hard to recycle our concrete and aggregate waste. Our on-site precast shop is able to recycle all returns and leftovers by utilizing what would have been wasted into our daily mould pours. We also recycle any aggregate that is leftover in our wash ponds and re-screen them in our screening facility to produce more aggregate. Overall, recycling concrete can provide significant environmental and economic benefits, and it is an important practice for sustainable construction and development. Happy Earth Day!
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