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Reusing Your Old Concrete

Removing or replacing old and unsightly concrete is a common theme in remodeling and renovation. It could be a cracked concrete wall, old pavers, or a dilapidated patio. Pretty soon there is a pile of used concrete sitting and waiting to be discarded. Yet none of this concrete need see a landfill. The vast majority of it can be crushed and recycled into new concrete mixtures.

Yet, even before calling the recycling company or hauling it away yourself, you can save even more energy by reusing that old concrete on site.

At Home

There is always hesitation about bringing concrete into the home, but there are some valid possibilities out there. Say some old concrete masonry units (cinder blocks) are laying around or left over from recent projects. These can now be painted and used as part of a trendy shelving unit; they offer weighty support and convenient cubbyholes. Other options for reusing concrete in the home can be realized with naught more than a creative eye and a willingness to experiment.

In the Yard

The yard is much more receptive than the home to be sure. Spare blocks or chunks of concrete could be used in water features, such as fountains or ponds. Old pavers could be relocated into the garden or flower beds as ornamental or functional pieces. They can be stacked, piled, broken, shaped, or chiseled into whatever fits your yard and your mind. Again, it all rests on a creative outlook, and possibly how the sledgehammer might fly.

To the World

If you’ve got no use for your used concrete (not even as a ballast for your boat), then be sure to get to the people that do. First, check out Freecycle and see what people in the community think about it. Then you can move on to local recycling plants, which can turn your used concrete into another person’s new concrete product.

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