Pros and Cons of Recycled Concrete

In today’s increasingly environmentally contentious world, just about anything can be recycled – including construction materials. Recycled Concrete Aggregate (RCA) is one of the most commonly used recycled construction materials in NJ and its surrounding areas.

The material can be used for a wide range of practical purposes. If you’ve been wondering if recycled concrete could be the right solution for your upcoming project, you likely have questions about the benefits and potential drawbacks accosted with working with RAC.

To help you make an educated decision, we’ve dedicated this post to exploring what RCA is, the advantages of using it, and any considerations you should be aware of.

Recycled Concrete Aggregate At-A-Glance

When a concrete sidewalk, road, parking lot, or structure needs to be excavated and replaced, the concrete is often discarded into a landfill. Because chunks of concrete are not biodegradable and are unable to decompose over time, the waste takes up a great deal of space and creates environmental concerns.

The process of recycling concrete ensures that useful concrete aggregate materials are able to be repurposed instead of wasted. This not only stops landfills from overfilling, but it also cuts back on the number of natural resources that are used in the production of concrete.

Concrete recycling plants, like the one operated by Braen Stone, work to crush the recycled concrete and screen it down to size. Any metal pieces, contaminants, or debris are removed from the concrete aggregate so that it is pure in its composition. In order to ensure that you get the highest quality RCA, it’s imperative that you buy from a reputable source that takes pride in excellent recycling processes.

Benefits of Recycled Concrete Aggregate

Those who choose to work with RCA are able to enjoy numerous benefits, including:


One of the biggest advantages to choosing recycled concrete over virgin materials is that you’ll save a good chunk of money. Because fewer natural resources are utilized and less time is involved in the production process, you will see an immediate dip in price. This frees up your cash flow for special touches and flourishes that will make your construction or landscaping project truly special.

Environmentally Friendly

Of course, everyone enjoys the fact that working with RCA means that they are completing their project in a way that is environmentally friendly. In a world that has historically been quite wasteful, we are all working hard to minimize our carbon footprint and to avoid overexploiting our earth’s natural resources.

Using RCA means that less natural material must be used to manufacture construction products, and it also means that fewer carbon emissions are put into the air during the manufacture and transportation of concrete.


Recycled Concrete Aggregate can be used for a wide range of different projects, making it very practical for most contractors, landscapers, and homeowners. In many instances, RCA is selected as a stable base or subbase layer for driveways, roads, and parking lots.

The aggregate material can also be used to improve drainage, to prevent shoreline erosion, as an alternative to organic mulch, as a backfill material, or for many other general construction purposes.


Some people have concerns regarding the quality and integrity of recycled materials. We’re here to tell you that the RCA manufactured by reliable sources like Braen Stone is always held to the highest standard.

We work hard to ensure that our recycled concrete is crushed and screened carefully for consistent sizing, and for the removal of any foreign or hazardous matter. The end result is a strong, reliable, and safe material that can be used to meet your project’s unique demands.


One great thing about choosing to use recycled concrete in your construction or landscaping project is that you won’t have any difficulty finding plenty of material for getting the job done.

As an extremely active concrete recycling plant, Braen Stone always has an abundant supply of recycled concrete on hand, ready to fulfill your order. They will help you to get your project done on time – even if you need bulk amounts of RCA.

Considerations for Recycled Concrete Aggregate

Although RCA is a fantastic option for most people, there are a few things that you should keep in mind prior to purchasing RCA for your upcoming project:


Always consider the source before ordering RCA for your construction or landscaping project. While RCA may be available from a wide range of vendors in your area, it’s important to realize that not all sellers are equal.

You may find individual sellers on sites like Craigslist, or who are trying to vend their recycled concrete from the side of the road. These individuals frequently offer extremely cheap prices that can be very tempting at first glance.

The problem is that these sellers cannot guarantee the quality, safety, and integrity of their materials. Consequently, you may end up wasting your money on a subpar or even hazardous product.

It’s always in your best interest to go directly to a supplier that operates its own concrete recycling plant and who can guarantee the best product at the lowest prices possible.


Recycled concrete is extremely functional and practical, but it isn’t necessarily known for its aesthetic value. While some people find the crushed aggregate to be visually appealing, you may tend to prefer the aesthetic of virgin materials or of decorative stone.

If you’re not a fan of the look of RAC, we recommend choosing to use the material strictly as a base or subbase for your project, while working with other materials for the surface.

Specific Options

When it comes to purchasing natural stone aggregate, you will often have your pick of materials in a range of different sizes and even colors.

With recycled concrete, on the other hand, your options will generally be much more limited. RCA is usually only manufactured in one uniform size, so it’s important that you make sure that the size is appropriate for your project needs before proceeding.

Buying Recycled Concrete Aggregate in NJ

Braen Stone is the leading manufacturer and supplier of a wide range of construction materials for sale throughout NJ and its neighboring areas. In addition to harvesting and producing virgin materials, we also operate our own local concrete recycling plant.

Our skilled team understands how important it is to carefully screen our RCA and ensure that the material is always held to the highest quality standards. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have about our recycled materials or to provide you with advice on using RCA for your project.

Our RCA is always available at the lowest wholesale prices and can be picked up or bulk delivered throughout parts of NJ & NY and limited parts of PA & CT.

Get Your Copy

By | 2020-03-31T14:40:58-04:00 January 11th, 2018|RCA|0 Comments

About the Author:

Dirk is a Project Manager at Braen Stone. He's an expert on a variety of construction materials and prides himself on helping the company meet the needs of companies large and small.