Recycling concrete chunks - maybe?

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Recycling concrete chunks - maybe?

Post by artfox »

This may have been addressed in a previous post, but I couldn't find it...

In the next few weeks, my old, broken concrete driveway will be jackhammered out in preparation for the yard regrading, studio slab and new driveway. The concrete is about 3-4 inches thick and in two strips about 18 inches wide. After nearly 75 years, it's weathered to a nice, soft gray, and I'm wondering if chunks of it could be recycled in my garden instead of hauling it to a landfill.

Has anyone here ever used old concrete as a garden edging, or maybe for a patio? The gray color wouldn't look bad with my dark red brick bungalow. Then again, there are some new concrete stains that might give it more of a stone appearance.

Any other thoughts on how I could reuse this stuff? Your ideas and suggestions are appreciated! Thank you!

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Re: Recycling concrete chunks - maybe?

Post by kec01 »

We moved into our bungalow 3 years ago. At the time, it had no gardens to speak of...a couple of hostas and 5 tulips.

Once I started trying to dig clay for removal so that I could add compost and other organic matter, my shovel kept hitting what I thought were large stones. Nope, a previous owner had buried their old sidewalk pieces in the yard instead of removing it.

I've dug out and disposed of alot of sidewalk. None of the pieces were similarly shaped. Most varied in thickness by up to 1 inch. The tops were smooth, the bottoms were really bumpy. I had a similar idea to you that I could try and use this stuff but after looking at it, it found it's way into disposal bins - piece by piece.

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Re: Recycling concrete chunks - maybe?

Post by Abuela »

Like kec, we keep finding chunks of broken concrete, but we actually did use them to edge a garden bed and we're very pleased with the results. When we get around to replacing the poor-condition old concrete walks in our back yard, we plan on salvaging as much of that as we can to use as garden edging, though size and shape will obviously control whether it will actually work or not.
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Re: Recycling concrete chunks - maybe?

Post by angolito »

my front retaining wall is built entirely from concrete chunks. the concrete is about 5-6" thick. the side walk was broken up, and the pieces turned broken side out and mortared. i was very surprised to find that it was only concrete when i did the re-pointing job last summer (well, 80% of it, anyway). you can look in my albums in the one labeled "projecting my projects" is you want to see it...

when we demolish the sidewalks this summer i am going to bury pieces, flat side up, for stepping stones. i will probably stain them, i have done that before and it looks very nice. i hate to put it in a landfill.

just hope there is no rebar in it. then it is a hopeless and back-breaking mess.
Last edited by angolito on Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Recycling concrete chunks - maybe?

Post by rncx »

a guy who rents some property from a family member of mine in new orleans does this, he takes concrete torn up from road projects and busts it up and makes gravel out of it. my stepbrother had him put a gravel driveway outside of his frame/sign shop and it looks pretty good to me.

you might find such a business in your area, maybe if you bust it up and tell them they can have it they'll give you a bit of a discount on some that's already processed.

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Re: Recycling concrete chunks - maybe?

Post by Sheboggles »

This is a late reply, but I thought it was an interesting question, as I decided to go around town and find old concrete chunks to use as a cobblestone path. I acquired quite a collection, of small to heavy, but manageable pieces. I did put them down in a path and absolutely hated the results because I could not seem to get them leveled, even though I followed directions. The earth settled around them and eventually just made for a treacherous uneven path that I eventually had to tear out. I even tried redoing. So - I now have theis pile of concrete - and I've redone the path into a wonderful curvy gravel path with little niches for purple fountain grass and the ever popular agapanthus. As I was doing this, I noticed all of the lizards - they're everywhere and they love the c. chunks. After that I hated to get rid of them, especially, since it meant, hauling them to the dump. I've cleaned them up and laid them at different angles in the niches - flat side up-. They have a very sculptural effect that adds another dimension to the path. And I think they would look fantastic with aztec symbols or lizards painted on them. But even plain they look great and the lizards hide under them and sun on them. I also just made a big pile of them vertically and thought hmmm, why not a fountain? The backs of them sometimes have lots of nooks and cranies for little puddles of water. Any ideas on how to do this would be much appreciated.....

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Re: Recycling concrete chunks - maybe?

Post by S Melissa »

Well, concrete can be recycled. There are companies that take the old concrete and crush it up and use it for slag type walk ways. It is great - after a few good rains the slag settles into a nice soft but firm path for walkers etc. You may have to consult with the yellow pages or the contractor that's busting up your concrete - but if there's a concrete recycling place in the area - it is very welcomed stuff to them - free or otherwise.
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Re: Recycling concrete chunks - maybe?

Post by angelinaalbet »

Yes, concrete is recyclable. There are many companies for recycling concrete. Crushed recycled concrete can also be used as the dry aggregate for brand new concrete if it is free of contaminants.

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Re: Recycling concrete chunks - maybe?

Post by lewismurphi »

I agreed with Angelina that concrete is recyclable. If you search online, you will get many Companies who are providing this services.

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