“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” has been the driving force behind encouraging Americans to stop wasting paper, plastic and glass – but what about construction materials? Although many people don’t even realize it, the recycling of construction materials has come a long way, and can do a significant amount of good to our environment and our wallets.
If this idea sounds appealing to you, there’s a good chance that you’re wondering what types of materials can be recycled, how reliable they are, and where you can purchase them. You’ll find the answers to these and other questions in the sections to follow.
Compelling Reasons to Choose Recycled Materials
Why would you work with construction materials that have been recycled when you can get something brand new? Here are a few benefits to motivate you to “go green”:
- Less Consumption of Raw Materials – Whenever new concrete or asphalt are manufactured, a large quantity of raw materials need to be excavated and consumed. These are often non-renewable resources that are being depleted, and in every case, the process causes disruption to the environment. When recycled materials are used, the quantity of raw materials is significantly reduced, creating a much healthier and happier Earth.
- Less Landfill Waste – We’re constantly hearing on the news about how our landfills are overflowing and the subsequent problem that our planet is faced with. What if there was a way that we could cut down on the amount of used concrete and asphalt that gets thrown into these dumps, unable to decompose or break down over time? When we choose to recycle these types of materials, we stop taking up so much space in landfills and improve our overall quality of life.
- Fewer Emissions – Recycled materials actually have a tendency to weigh less than virgin materials. This means that as they are transported, less fuel is used and less carbon emissions are put out into the air. At the same time, there are fewer manufacturing processes utilized which further reduces the amount of emissions being released into the atmosphere.
- Lower Price – Of course one of the biggest perks to using recycled construction materials is that you’ll end up saving some money. These materials are much more affordable, and when bulk quantities are used for your project, you could see a significant reduction in the overall cost of the work to be completed.
Recycled Construction Materials Available in NJ
Residents of NJ and its surrounding areas enjoy having access to:
- Recycled Concrete Aggregate (RCA) – RCA is often selected as a replacement for natural stone aggregate materials. When old concrete is excavated from sidewalks, parking lots, curbs, roads and building slabs, the materials are transported to a recycling plant where they are processed and screened. Here, the old concrete is crushed into smaller pieces and any steel or other undesirable materials are removed from the concrete matter. Once the process is completed, the recycled aggregate can be used for a wide range of functions. RCA can be manufactured to the same specifications as natural aggregates.
- Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) – RAP is a blend of processed materials that contained asphalt and aggregates. Generally, these materials are derived from the asphalt that is removed at times when roads or driveways are being resurfaced, when asphalt shingles are torn off, or during other construction projects. The materials are crushed and screened down to size so that they become aggregate materials that are coated by asphalt. It can be sized to any specification.
Recycled Materials Uses
You’ll find that you’re able to breathe new life into recycled concrete and asphalt by purposing these materials as:
- Base Material – One of the most common ways that recycled asphalt and recycled concrete are used are as base materials for a wide range of different projects. In some cases, the materials may be used before a new building’s foundation is poured, whereas other contractors may elect to use the materials to create a firm foundation for a new asphalt parking lot or roadway.
- Hot Mix Asphalt – When old or otherwise unwanted asphalt turns up on the doorstep of an asphalt recycling plant, some of it’s actually heated up and re-used in hot mix asphalt (HMA). This means that far fewer virgin resources need to be utilized in the production of asphalt for surfacing streets, driveways, parking lots, blacktops, etc.
- Soil Stabilizer – The properties of recycled concrete aggregate have been proven to have the ability to stabilize soils that are either overly wet or are too soft. This brings a lot more strength and uniformity to the landscape as a whole.
- Filler – Both recycled concrete and recycled asphalt are both obvious choices for contractors and homeowners who need some sort of filler material for their projects. The aggregate is sturdy and reliable but is also extremely affordable, making it easy to stay within budget while purchasing bulk quantities of filler.
- Other – In addition to everything else, many contractors find materials like RCA very useful for other construction applications. As an example, larger chunks of recycled concrete might be poured at the entrance to a job site as a means of preventing mud from being tracked or to stop flooding from occurring.
Recycled Materials Cost
The amount that you’ll need to spend on recycled construction materials will depend on several factors. First, consider the size and scope of your project. The volume of recycled materials that you’ll demand to get the work done and fill in your coverage area will directly impact your final cost.
Remember that buying in bulk may result in discounted rates per cubic yard or cubic ton. Next, there may be some distinction in pricing between RAP and RCA, depending on the processes used to recycle the materials and on availability.
Finally, the supplier that you choose to buy from will play a major role in cost. Look for a supplier that has its own recycling plant and can keep prices as competitive as possible.
Recycled Materials Delivery
Most projects involving recycled materials demand large quantities of RCA or RAP. This means that you need to have a way to have the materials transported from the supplier to your project site. In many cases, customers require the assistance of a delivery service.
Be sure to look for a supplier that will bulk deliver your order to the location of your choice for fair and reasonable rates. It’s also wise to verify that the delivery service carries the proper licenses and insurance policies.
Where to Buy Recycled Construction Materials in NJ
Braen Stone is the leading manufacturer and supplier of recycled construction materials in northern NJ and its surrounding areas. We own and operate local concrete and asphalt recycling plants where we are able to repurpose materials efficiently, effectively and affordably.
Our materials are DOT approved and are completely safe. Customers can pick up their recycled materials at our location or can have them bulk delivered to locations throughout parts of NJ, NY, PA and CT.