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Manufacturers Get New Standard for Recycling Concrete

Manufacturers now have a new set of voluntary standards for recycling returned fresh concrete. According to ASTM International that wrote the standard with industry’s input, it will support the growth in sustainable construction practices. The standard covers process, verification, and record-keeping procedures for such recycling, according to the release.

“Quite simply, this standard recognizes unused concrete in a fresh state as a potential ingredient for a new concrete batch,” says ASTM member Rich Szecsy, president, Texas Aggregates and Concrete Association. “In other words, recycled fresh concrete can be treated as a raw-material component just like water, aggregates, and cement.”

Before this standard, he says that manufacturers were basically forced to dispose of such unused concrete in landfills. However, a web site call The Balance says that there have been some options available:

  • Reclaimed concrete can be used in walkways to provide walkable surfaces and to provide gaps for rain water to reach the soil. By doing this the amount of runoff water will also be reduced, resulting in a smaller storm sewer system, it says.
  • Old concrete can be recycled, it adds, and turned into aggregates after it has been crushed and processed and,
  • Concrete pavements can be broken in place and used as the foundation for an asphalt pavement, it concludes.

The new standard, though, adds sustainability.

“Because of this new standard, the industry can participate in a more sustainable construction practice in which millions of cubic yards of concrete can now be recycled in a way that is safe for end users and provides a more conscious approach to environmental stewardship,” adds Szecsy, with the concrete association.
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