Economic Feasibility of Concrete Recycling

by Stamatia A. Frondistou-Yannas, Asst. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Mass. Inst. of Tech., Cambridge, Mass.,
Taichi Itoh, M.S. candidate; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Mass. Inst. of Tech., Cambridge, Mass.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 4, Pg. 885-899

Document Type: Journal Paper


The economics of using recycled concrete debris as aggregate for new concrete has been studied. The writers find that there is enough concrete debris generated in large metropolitan areas to support profitably the operation of at least one concrete recycling plant. The production cost of recycled concrete aggregate is about 38% lower than that of its competitor, natural aggregate. However, for equal performance with conventional concrete members, members that contain recycled concrete aggregate must be 20% larger in volume. Analysis of these findings suggest that, for equal delivery distance of the aggregate, conventional concrete is economically more attractive than concrete with recycled aggregate. This relation is, however, reversed in areas where there is a shortage of natural aggregate; specifically, for a difference in transportation distance of at least 15 miles (24 km) in favor of recycled concrete aggregate, concrete containing the latter is economically more attractive than conventional concrete.

Subject Headings: Aggregates | Economic factors | Feasibility studies | Concrete | Recycling | Debris | Urban areas | Profits

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