Strategies for Returned Concrete
When developing a strategy for returned ready-mixed concrete, the first question to consider is how much returned ready-mix a plant generates, says Jeff Metz, president of Enviro-Port, a concrete reclaimer manufacturer in Gratiot, Wis. The average is about 5 percent, but some plants producer higher amounts.
Second, identify and implement the proper management tools to meet each plant's criteria. These are:
- Compliance and Sustainability: Be aware of the plant's environmental impact and level of compliance on a state and local level. Utilize the resources of national and state industry associations, network with other producers, and consider using a consultant.
- Process- and Stormwater Management: Identify water flow paths. In some cases, there are advantages in not allowing these paths to comingle. Properly capturing and recycling this water can aid in the goal of zero discharge.
- Aesthetics: Providing a better working environment for employees is important, in addition to public perception.
- 4. Freshwater Conservation: Identify and document all freshwater points onsite. Determine if overflow or wasting of water is occurring at each point, and implement changes if necessary. Automatic shut-off valves are an example.
- 5. Washwater Recycling and/or Disposal: Options and tools to consider include:
- Reduce Returned Concrete: Communicate with contractors to reduce the “safety amount” they order.
- Top Loading: Resale of returned product.
- Ecological Blocks/Molds: There are many styles of quality forms being manufactured. Successful programs produce high-quality, aesthetically appealing block. Some companies will supply the forms and market the block for you.
- Crushing/Ribboning: Consult local contractors to determine if these products are viable for you. When utilized, proper slope of a stocking area should be implemented for water containment.
- Onsite Yard Renovation: Use returned product as new pavement on your property.
- Ready-mix Aggregate Reclaimer: A closed-loop aggregate reclaimer can recover sand and stone. Truck washout water can be contained and recycled with a multi-cell system.
- Ready-mix Reclaimer with Gray Water Recovery: System can recover sand and stone while utilizing concrete product or gray water in new batches of ready-mix. Closed-loop system also incorporates recycled truck washwater.
For more information, visitwww.enviro-port.com.