Recycling/Disposing of Concrete, Bricks, and Mortar
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Recycling/Disposing of Concrete, Bricks, and Mortar
Recycling old brick and concrete
My husband and I are planning to re-landscape our backyard
ourselves, which will include ripping out landscape walls
and a patio made of old brick. We really don't want to send
this material to the landfill. The bricks are set in mortar
so I don't think they can be easily re-used. Is there any
where that recycles brick?
You can donate them to Urban Ore in Berkeley, they will
happily sell them.
Craigslist ''free'' catagory. Freecycle Oakland or Berkeley. A
sign and a pile in front of your house if you live on or
near a busy street. Check with Urban Ore or the Habitat for
Humanity Store to see if they will take your materials, and
if not, who might.
No need to send it to the dump!
Breaking up an old concrete pad
We are thinking about breaking up our old concrete pad.
While we do not wish to add to landfill with the unusable
concrete, we wonder how expensive/labor intensive it is to
cut up concrete and try to reuse it building material for a
planter box or as pavers. Is it worth the expensive to try
to reuse old concrete? Any recommendations/thoughts/regrets
from folks out there who have done the ''right'' thing and
recycled their concrete? Signed,
-Trying to do the right thing for Mother Earth
To send your concrete to the dump, you will still have to break it up, pay
to transport it, and pay a large dumping fee. If you can reuse it in your
landscape you will definitely save money and reduce unnecessary waste in
For ideas on how to reuse concrete in landscaping, check www.stopwaste.org
and look for Bay Friendly Gardening. There will be some design ideas and
referrals to landscapers who use this material.
Bay Friendly Gardener
We reused the concrete from our yard to make 2 large planters in our back
yard, partly because of the desire to ''reuse'', but also out of a need to
save money. Dumping concrete is EXPENSIVE! You pay by the pound and it
would have cost us over a thousand dollars to dump our load. Recycling
your concrete into a planter or pavers will not only be the ''right''
thing, but also the cheaper thing. We did all of the work ourselves, so we
did save some expense there. I may have some pic's of them if you are
interested, or you could come by to see them too.
You can certainly use the ''nicest looking'' pieces of a broken concrete
pad to fashion a new walkway, but you will likely have extra -- or you
might just want to get rid of it all. In either case, a responsible way
to get rid of it would be to deliver it (or have someone haul it for you)
to the Syar concrete recycling facility at the West County Landfill in
Richmond. Depending on supply and demand for the ground up concrete
roadbase they manufacture, you may be able to just drop it off for free.
Call them at (510) 215-4949. P.S. If you hire someone to haul it for you,
make sure they are licensed as this is the type of thing that ''a dude
with a pickup truck'' often ends up pocketing the cash and illegallying
dumping the material on vacant lots.
We used recycled concrete for most of a very long retaining wall. Part of
what we used came from our yard but mostly it was scavenged from
construction sites and projects like yours. Here is what we learned. It is
a lot of work - concrete is heavy and bulky. The wall is about 2 feet
thick - no matter since it is a retaining wall but I can't imagine making
planters out of concrete. Stepping stones seems a better idea - or even a
walkway with elfin thyme planted in between to fill the spaces. NO matter
how you use it, you will need to take care when you break up your concrete
- the larger the pieces the better, then you can break them again into
smaller ones as needed. Pieces that are relatively flat on the bottom,
not lumpy, are easier to work with.
When concrete is taken to Waste Management, my impression is that it is
ground up and mixed with asphalt for roads, not landfilled. They generally
take it free of charge (hauling the stuff in another story).
hope that helps
Here's our recent experience with concrete. Our project involved about 10+
tons (from our small backyard!) and we broke/hauled it all ourselves.
We didn't consider cutting but found with two people you can break it
somewhat accurately by having one person pry it up with a landscape bar
and the other hit it at the point you want it to break with a sledge. Eye
protection recommended. Not exact, but... I read that cutting is
expensive if you hire someone or rent the cutter because the diamond tip
blade needs replacing often.
We didn't have a use for the quantities available onsite so we hauled it
to the richmond dump where on Saturdays ''clean concrete'' can be dumped
at a special recycling location for free (no dump fees). The real name is
the West Contra Costa County Landfill or something like that. I called a
recycler in Oakland but they would have charged a fair amount for us to
drop it with them.
I didn't try getting rid of it on craigslist free (someone told me if you
call it ''urbanite'' there's a demand for it - I'm dubious) - but we did
get rid of lots of bricks and lumber that way. It might be possible to
recycle some this way.
Best is if you can use it at your own site, but if you decide not to,
maybe our experiences will be of interest...
Need to remove part of our driveway
I am looking for someone to break up and cart away a large
section of my 4 inch thick concrete driveway -- I would like to
put a vegetable garden in its place. I think someone could
accomplish it with a crowbar and sledge hammer or a jackhammer.
We recently removed the concrete from our driveway to install a
brick patio for entertainment. The four-inch concrete removal
was easier than anticipated and my husband did it by himself
with a sledge hammer. We found that you can dispose of the
concrete for free at the Richmond landfill site on Saturdays
between 9:00 and 2:00 p.m. Over the course of several weekends
we managed to remove the all the concrete and dispose of it.
I would like information about concrete removal and
disposal. We have a pile of broken up concrete from a
patio and would like to find someone to remove it for us.
Does anyone know of someone who provides a service like
this? Where do they take it? What is the range of cost?
Someone might want to take it away for you for free (maybe
even someone from this list). Broken concrete can make great
informal paths, patios, and small garden walls. You could put
a sign up at your house offering it & see what happens.
this page was last updated: Jun 10, 2014
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