If you’ve explored the website of Jefferson Recycling, by now you are aware that we are a Class B recycling facility located in northern New Jersey. We offer custom recycling options for both commercial and residential needs, including onsite crushing and dumpster services. But some of you may be confused by our recycling of clean concrete. What the heck is clean concrete? Well, today we’re going to clear this up, once and for all. Read on to learn about clean concrete and why we recycle it.


What is Concrete?

Concrete is one of the most plentiful building materials in the world. It’s a heavy, rough material comprised of various other substances – typically gravel, sand, cement and water. Once combined, it can be spread or poured into molds and then allowed to dry into a stone-like mass.  


Recycling Concrete in NJ

Previously, when structures with concrete were demolished or renovated, the concrete itself was routinely trucked to landfills for disposal. But greater awareness of the environment and efforts to keep construction costs down have seen a rise in concrete being recycled instead.


The concrete aggregate is collected from demolition sites and processed through a crushing machine. The remaining chunks are sorted out by size. If those are too large, it may warrant another trip through the crusher.


At Jefferson Recycling, we have the ability to crush on site. The mobile crushing plant can provide you with screened aggregate of various sizes, saving time and money because you don’t pay disposal fees or to import stone.


Uses of Recycled Concrete

Recycled concrete can be used in a variety of projects. Smaller pieces often are used as gravel on new projects or as a driveway alternative. Sub-base gravel can be laid down as a base for a road, with fresh concrete or asphalt poured on top. A classic example of this is a method used by the Federal Highway Association to take the concrete from old highways and repurpose it for new roads.


There are other uses for recycled concrete, too. Large pieces of crushed concrete can be used for riprap revetments, which are popular in mitigating streambank erosion. Wire gabions are often filled with crushed concrete and then stacked to create affordable retaining walls. Lastly,

if the concrete is free of contaminants, recycled concrete can be repurposed for use in new concrete.


So, What is Clean Concrete Then?

The necessity for clean concrete for recycling concrete has to do with the crushing process. When the concrete is crushed, contaminants such as wood, trash and paper are very difficult and inefficient to remove. These contaminants impede the use of recycled concrete in many of its possible functions. Therefore, Class B recycling facilities such as Jefferson Recycling – the class that handles recycling construction materials – do not accept contaminated concrete.


The one exception is concrete that has metal such as rebar in place. Metal is much easier to remove due in part to its magnetic characteristics. During the sorting process, magnets and other sorting devices will remove the metal and then the metal will be melted down for other recycling purposes.


Recycle Concrete in New Jersey With Jefferson Recycling

As veterans of the construction industry, the employees of Jefferson Recycling understand what it takes to get a project done quickly and efficiently. We know the costs involved when procedures aren’t followed, so we have created processes that are reliable and cost effective. Best of all, we will adjust our options to specifically meet your needs. If you need onsite crushing, dumpster services, demolition and more, contact Jefferson Recycling today.