Concrete Recycling: Disposal, Recycle, Get Rid of, Drop off

Call Us: (425) 549-4905
Locations accepting Concrete

Request a Quote

Concrete Recycling Center

We Recycle Concrete for You

At DTG Recycle, we utilize advanced sorting technologies to recognize and efficiently sort materials. DTG Recycle has Concrete Recycling Centers all over Washington State. You may also drop off your concrete debris at our locations. Contact us for a price quote for concrete recycling.

Since 1999, DTG Recycle has been providing concrete recycling services for residential, commercial, and construction projects. As a leading company in construction and demolition debris recycling, we offer reliable debris management at competitive prices. Want to know which types of concrete are recyclable? On this page, we will tell you how to dispose of concrete, how concrete is recycled, and why you should recycle them.

How to Dispose of Concrete for Recycling?

There are different ways of concrete disposal for recycling, such as the following.

  • Contact a concrete recycling company – A concrete recycling company such as DTG Recycle repurposes concrete from commercial, industrial, and construction clients.
  • Rent a dumpster – Concrete, bricks, crushed stones, drywall, and asphalt can all be disposed of by placing them in a dumpster. Depending on your requirements, you can choose from a range of dumpster sizes we have for rent. It’s important to select a dumpster with an appropriate weight capacity if you are disposing of heavier materials.
  • Contact a building supplies retailer – Some building supplies retailers may be willing to accept unused concrete from you.
  • Contact a landscaping company – Landscaping companies seek out leftover concrete for their projects, as it provides a more environmentally friendly option for creating sidewalks, flower boxes, and retaining walls. Additionally, landscaping construction materials companies often crush the excess concrete to utilize it as a base layer when constructing new roads.

Types of Recyclable Concrete

The following are examples of recyclable concrete.

  • Concrete Rubble – These sizable and uneven heavy concrete fragments are commonly used as construction materials for walls and slabs in the creation of patios and walkways.
  • Concrete Blocks – These blocks are frequently utilized in the construction of retaining walls or structural walls.
  • Concrete Mix – This mixture is typically utilized for pouring driveways, setting fence posts, or establishing the foundation of a house.
  • Concrete Chunks – Landscaping companies repurpose surplus concrete chunks from projects for applications such as roads and parking lots.

How is Concrete Recycled?

Do you want to know how concrete is recycled? Here is the step-by-step process on how companies recycle concrete.

1. Collecting Concrete

Collection of concrete involves identifying construction sites where broken concrete is available and coordinating with the site owner or contractor to arrange for its collection. This may involve obtaining necessary permits and coordinating with local debris management authorities to ensure proper disposal of any used materials removed during the process. Once collected, the concrete is transported to a recycling center where it can be sorted, crushed, and processed into a new material for reuse in construction projects. 

2. Crushing

Crushing the concrete is an essential step in the process of recycling it into a new material that can be used for construction. The process involves using a crushing machine such as a jaw crusher, impact crusher, or cone crusher to break down the concrete into smaller pieces. The size of the crushed concrete pieces will depend on the desired end-use of the recycled material. 

3. Secondary Crushing and Screening

After the initial crushing process, the recycled concrete undergo secondary crushing and screening to further refine the material for its intended use. Secondary crushing involves using a smaller crushing machine to break the larger pieces of concrete into even smaller pieces. This process is particularly useful for producing smaller-sized aggregate for use in concrete mixes as well as to identify and remove any dirt that may compromise the quality of the concrete. 

There are different types of equipment that can be used for secondary crushing and screening of concrete. These include the following.

  • Impact Crushers – These crushers use impact force to break down the concrete into smaller pieces. They are generally used for larger pieces of concrete and are efficient at producing consistent, high-quality aggregates.
  • Cone Crushers – These crushers use compression force to break down the concrete into smaller pieces. They are generally used for smaller pieces of concrete and are effective at producing fine, uniform aggregates.
  • Vibrating Screens – These screens are used to separate the crushed concrete into different sizes based on the desired end-use. They can be used in conjunction with crushers to produce a more uniform product.
  • Trommel Screens – These screens use a rotating drum to separate the crushed concrete into different sizes. They are particularly useful for separating fine particles from larger pieces of concrete.
  • Jaw Crushers – These crushers are commonly used for primary crushing but can also be used for secondary crushing of smaller pieces of concrete.

4. Separating Small and Large Aggregates

Separating small and large aggregates is an important step in concrete recycling, as it ensures that the resulting recycled concrete has a consistent size and quality. This separation can be accomplished through a variety of methods, including:

  • Screening – The recycled concrete can be passed through a series of screens of varying sizes to separate out small and large aggregates. This method is effective at producing a uniform product and can be used for a variety of end-uses.
  • Air classification – This method involves using air to separate the small and large aggregates based on their size and weight. The larger, heavier aggregates will fall to the bottom while the smaller, lighter aggregates will be carried away by the air.
  • Magnetic separation – This method is used to separate out any metal contaminants that are present in the recycled concrete. A magnetic separator is used to attract and remove metal particles, leaving behind the small and large aggregates.

5. Washing to Produce Clean Aggregates

Washing is another important step in the process of producing clean aggregates during concrete recycling. The process involves using water to remove any remaining contaminants from the recycled concrete, such as dirt, clay, or other debris. 

The washing process typically involves placing the recycled concrete in a washing machine, which uses water and sometimes a mild detergent to clean the material. The machine agitates the concrete to remove any remaining contaminants, and the resulting wash water is collected and treated before being discharged to ensure that it meets local environmental regulations.

How Does Chemical Recycling of Concrete Work?

Chemical recycling of concrete is a process that involves breaking down the concrete using chemicals, such as acids or alkalis, to produce usable raw materials. The process involves the following steps.

  1. Concrete preparation – The concrete is first crushed into smaller pieces and sorted to remove any contaminants, such as metal or wood.
  2. Chemical treatment – The prepared concrete is then mixed with chemicals, such as acids or alkalis, to break down the concrete into its constituent parts. This chemical treatment can take several hours or days, depending on the type of chemical used and the desired end-product.
  3. Separation and purification – Once the chemical treatment is complete, the resulting mixture is separated into different components using various separation techniques, such as filtration or distillation. The resulting raw materials are then purified to remove any remaining contaminants.
  4. Production of new products – The purified raw materials can be used to produce a variety of new products, such as cement, aggregates, or other building materials.

Why Recycle Concrete?

Here are the reasons to recycle concrete.

  • Conserves natural resources
  • Reduces debris sent to landfills
  • Saves costs
  • Offers environmental benefits
  • Contributes to sustainability
  • LEED certification

What are the Uses of Recycled Concrete?

Recycled concrete can be used in a variety of construction applications, such as the following.

  • Aggregate for new concrete – Recycled concrete can be used as an aggregate in new concrete production, reducing the need for virgin materials and conserving natural resources.
  • Road base and subbase – Recycled concrete can be used as a base or subbase layer for roads and other transportation infrastructure, providing a stable and durable foundation for these structures.
  • Landscaping and erosion control – Recycled concrete can be used in landscaping and erosion control applications, such as retaining walls, landscaping stones, and riprap.
  • Pipe bedding – Recycled concrete can be used as a bedding material for underground utility pipes, providing a stable and supportive foundation for these structures.
  • Construction fill – Recycled concrete can be used as fill material for construction projects, such as foundations, retaining walls, and drainage systems.
  • Parking lots and driveways – Recycled concrete can be used as a base or subbase material for parking lots and driveways, providing a stable and durable surface for these structures.
  • Building foundations – Recycled concrete can be used as a foundation material for buildings, providing a stable and durable base for these structures.

Statistics on Concrete Recycling

140 million tons of concrete are recycled annually

According to the Construction Materials Recycling Association, about 140 million tons of concrete are recycled annually in the United States. Recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) is typically utilized as base and sub-base material, aggregate or as granular fill in new concrete pavement. 1

Using recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) instead of new aggregate will save you 50% to 60% of the cost of old concrete disposal and charges for potential road damage. 1

recycled aggregate concrete has 76% compressive strength

According to the study, Influence of recycled concrete aggregates on strength properties of concrete, the compressive strength of recycled aggregate concrete is at least 76% and modulus of elasticity of 60%. The percentage loss of the recycled concrete aggregate is within the permitted range of 50% for structural applications, according to the aggregate toughness test results based on one degradation test. 2

Need a Quote? Contact Us for Concrete Recycling Prices

Get a quote for your concrete recycling needs, contact us today at (425) 549-4905. Our team at DTG Recycle is happy to cater to all of your concrete recycling requirements. Whether you require regular concrete recycling drop-offs or a one-time service, we are committed to providing our customers with affordable and personalized recycling solutions that meet their unique requirements.

Concrete Recycling Drop-off Locations

DTG Recycle has Concrete Recycling Centers near you.

Our Locations:

FAQs for Concrete Recycling Service

Where can I recycle concrete?

Concrete can be recycled at your local recycling center. You can arrange for either pickup or drop-off. Check with your local recycling program for guidelines on how to recycle concrete in your area.

Can I make money by recycling concrete?

Yes, it is possible to make money by recycling concrete. Recycling concrete can be financially rewarding as there is a demand for recycled concrete in various construction projects. Furthermore, if you have salvageable concrete items like paving stones, bricks, or decorative concrete, you can resell them to individuals or businesses looking for affordable construction materials.

How many times can concrete be recycled?

Concrete can be recycled multiple times without losing its essential properties. Each time concrete is recycled, it can serve as a valuable source of aggregate and contribute to reducing the demand for new concrete production.

To maintain the quality of recycled concrete, it is essential to follow proper recycling practices, such as ensuring effective sorting and crushing methods, removing contaminants, and using appropriate ratios of recycled and virgin aggregates in new concrete mixes. By adhering to these practices, concrete can be recycled repeatedly, extending its lifespan and sustainability.

Which equipment is used for recycling concrete?

Several types of equipment are used for recycling concrete, including the following.

  • Jaw crushers – Jaw crushers are used to crush large chunks of concrete into smaller pieces that can be used for further processing.
  • Impact crushers – Impact crushers are used to crush concrete into smaller pieces and produce high-quality aggregates for use in construction.
  • Cone crushers – Cone crushers are used to crush concrete into smaller pieces and produce high-quality aggregates for use in construction.
  • Screening equipment – Screening equipment is used to separate different sizes of crushed concrete and remove any impurities.
  • Washing equipment – Washing equipment is used to clean recycled concrete and remove any remaining impurities, producing clean aggregates that can be used in construction.
  • Concrete pulverizers – Concrete pulverizers are used to break up large chunks of concrete into smaller pieces that can be recycled.
  • Magnets – Magnets are used to remove any metal contaminants from the recycled concrete.

Can concrete be recycled as cement?

Concrete cannot be directly recycled as cement, as the two materials have different chemical compositions and physical properties. However, recycled concrete can be used as a substitute for natural aggregates in the production of new concrete, which can help to reduce the amount of cement used in construction projects.

What are the effects of recycled aggregate concrete on its compressive strength?

The use of recycled aggregate in concrete can have both positive and negative effects on the compressive strength of the resulting concrete. Here are some potential effects.
Positive Effects

  • Recycled aggregates can have a rougher surface texture than natural aggregates, which can increase the bond strength between the aggregates and cement paste and improve the overall strength of the concrete.
  • The use of recycled aggregates can reduce the amount of cement needed in the mix, which can lead to a reduction in the water-cement ratio and an increase in the strength of the concrete.
  • Using recycled aggregates can also help to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the concrete, as it reduces the need for mining and transportation of natural aggregates.

Negative Effects

  • The quality of recycled aggregates can vary significantly, and aggregates containing contaminants or impurities can weaken the resulting concrete and reduce its strength.
  • Recycled aggregates are generally weaker than natural aggregates, and this can lower the overall strength of the concrete.
  • The presence of smaller particles in the recycled aggregates can lead to a higher water absorption rate, which can weaken the concrete over time.

Can recycled concrete be used as structural fill?

Yes, recycled concrete can be used as structural fill in certain applications. Structural fill refers to material that is used to create a solid foundation or support structure for buildings, roads, and other infrastructure. Recycled concrete can be used as structural fill in applications such as the following.

  • Roadway subbase – Recycled concrete can be used as a subbase material for roadway construction projects.
  • Building foundations – Crushed recycled concrete can be used as a fill material for building foundations and footings.
  • Landscaping and retaining walls – Recycled concrete can be used as a base material for landscaping features, such as retaining walls and garden beds.

How sustainable is recycled concrete?

Concrete, despite not being biodegradable, exhibits high recyclability, allowing for nearly endless reusability. Old concrete can find applications in various forms, making it a sustainable material.

It is important to recognize that conscious recycling practices can make it sustainable. This compelling argument emphasizes the need to consistently strive for recycling old concrete whenever the opportunity arises.

1 PCA – The Portland Cement Association – America’s Cement Manufacturer. Retrieved June 16, 2023, from

2 Sami W. Tabsh, Akmal S. Abdelfatah, Influence of recycled concrete aggregates on strength properties of concrete, Construction and Building Materials, Volume 23, Issue 2, 2009, Pages 1163-1167, ISSN 0950-0618, (