Last week I did a podcast with Cesar Abeid over at Construction Industry Podcast about construction waste. I’ve written about this before, right here, but in this podcast we also talked about the global front and about how some places with civil unrest and disasters are handling the massive amount of waste from damaged and destroyed buildings. Tune in at the link just above to hear the podcast, and just below you can find some of the information that was covered, along with links.
Handling Disaster Construction Waste
What some researchers from Georgia Tech discovered in Haiti was that the country had 20 million cubic yards of concrete rubble to get rid of and no place to put it. They also discovered the people were ingeniously reusing it to make new concrete, but weren’t really batching it right. They were kind of going by how it looked. So when the researchers checked out a block made in Haiti they found them to be only about 1300 psi. Generally, 3,000 psi is the preferred minimum strength, at least in the US. So the researchers used the haitian rubble and some indigenous sand (not sure if sand can be indigenous but it is now), and managed to make concrete out of it that hit the 3,000 psi mark, just by paying close attention to the mixture. (Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110104151141.htm)
Handling Construction Waste From Civil Unrest
Across the globe though, for example in the wake of the Arab spring, and mounting from the terrible situation in Syria, there are piles and piles of rubble that instead of being trucked away, could be reused. The Palestinians have been reusing concrete rubble to rebuild after the Israeli attack on Gaza. They invented a small crusher to reduce the rubble to manageable pieces. I found there are commercial models of these things. These mini crushers can handle many situations where you have brick or concrete waste, and they do it right on the job site. Actually, one model I looked at will fit through a standard doorway and has a hopper that’s 16 in by 16 in and the machine will turn out 3/4 to 2 and 3/4” crushed material. It has 60 LongTonne, that’s a little more than 67 US tons, of crushing force. (Sources: http://www.tcp.eu.com/hire/mini-crushers/mini-crusher.html http://www.ecogreen4us.com/stories/recycle-stories/waste-management-recycling-constructions/)
State of Construction Waste Recycling
At this website you can find out many things about recycling construction waste, including an overview of its current feasibility. And, the National Institute of Building Science has a section under its Whole Building Design Guide that deals specifically with construction waste. You can use the search tool to find people to help you collect and process construction waste. (Source: http://www.wbdg.org/tools/tools_cat.php – Look under the Professional& Construction Services category)
We talked about a whole lot more in the podcast and hope you find it informative.