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How to Dispose of Concrete

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How to Dispose of Concrete Properly

Concrete has been used by humans for thousands of years, and it’s currently the most widely used building material in the world. Globally, disposing of concrete waste properly is a common problem, and in the United States, concrete makes up about 85% of all construction and demolition waste, estimated to be about 600 million tons per year.

Whether you have leftover concrete from a construction site excavation, a driveway replacement, or sidewalk repair, there are a lot of ways you can properly dispose of your concrete waste.

Can I Throw Away Concrete?

Concrete is classified as construction and demolition waste and cannot be thrown away with household garbage. Construction and demolition (C&D) waste, which represents about 30% of all waste in the US, is kept separate from other types of municipal solid waste because it can be diverted out of the waste stream and reused. 

Responsible Concrete Disposal Options:

dumpster for concrete disposal

1. Concrete Dumpster Rental

A dedicated concrete dumpster is one of the easiest ways to dispose of concrete for recycling, especially for DIYers who don’t have the equipment to haul heavy loads.

While dumpster fees are usually based on weight, special flat rates apply for concrete because it is so heavy and can be taken to special facilities for recycling.

BenefitsThings to Consider
No need to be home for delivery or pickup Have to load the dumpster yourself
Affordable, all-inclusive rate is provided when you book your rentalBest for large amounts of concrete
Guaranteed, scheduled disposal of your concrete waste
online listing for concrete

2. Online Listing

Online marketplaces like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Freecycle are great places to post your unwanted concrete. Many contractors and DIYers look at these listings to find reusable concrete debris. You can even check the "wanted" section to see if there are any active listings for concrete.

BenefitsThings to Consider
Free concrete disposal optionNot a guaranteed disposal solution
Sustainable and lets concrete be reusedBest for small to moderate amounts of concrete
Removal schedule depends on the buyer
free concrete on sidewalk

3. Place It On Curb

One option you have for getting rid of concrete is to simply place it out on the curb with a free sign. This is best if you have a small amount of concrete, so you don't have to lug a large amount of heavy waste to the sidewalk.

Before placing the concrete on the sidewalk, please check with your homeowner's association or local municipality and make sure you are allowed to put items on the sidewalk for pickup.

BenefitsThings to Consider
Free concrete disposal optionRemoval of concrete not guaranteed
Little to no work involvedLeaves debris on sidewalk indefinitely which can result in a fine if it's out too long
Best for small amounts of concrete, not for job sites or large projects
diy junk removal hauling

4. Hire Junk Removal Specialists

Removing old concrete and asphalt slabs and driveways is hard work, and hiring professionals to clear out your heavy, large chunks of cement is recommended.

To schedule a junk removal service for concrete, simply call them and schedule a pickup window. They will send their team, give you an estimated cost upon arrival, and start clearing out the debris. Junk removal companies typically charge by either weight or by how full the truck bed is, which is why this option is best for a minimal to moderate amount of concrete waste.

Benefits Things to Consider
All the work and heavy lifting is done for youPrice is variable and subject to increase upon arrival and dumping
Offers guaranteed, scheduled disposal of your concrete wasteMust be present at time of debris pickup
Limited to 2 tons of concrete waste
hauling concrete diy

5. Haul It Yourself

If you have the equipment and time to haul your concrete debris yourself, this is a good disposal option. You'll have to find a transfer station that accepts C&D waste. You may also be able to find a landfill that offers free dump days for concrete, so you don't have to pay the dumping fees. Always make sure to call ahead and make sure your local facility takes concrete waste and is open to the public.

Benefits Things to Consider
Guaranteed disposal optionRequires access to a pickup truck
Allows you to set your own schedule and pace Local dumping sites might be far away
Could require multiple hauls

How Much Does Concrete Disposal Cost?

The cost of getting rid of concrete depends on how much debris you want to remove and the method you choose.

For example, junk removal services often have a pricing system based on how much you can fit in their trucks, especially for heavy construction debris like concrete. They usually allow you to stack your materials only around 1 - 1 ½ feet high in the truckbed, which is about 80 square feet in size. With this option, you can remove up to 2 tons of debris, and it will cost you around $600.

On the other hand, renting a 10-yard dumpster is a more cost-effective choice. These dumpsters can usually handle up to 10 tons of concrete and cost an average of about $550. To give you an idea, a standard two-car driveway that's 16 x 40 feet can weigh around 8 tons. So, if you have a lot of concrete or asphalt to get rid of, renting a dumpster is the better option.

DIsposal OptionCost
10 Yard Concrete Dumpster$400-500 on average, with prices ranging from $350-700
Junk Removal Service$235 for a quarter bedload to $600 for a full bedload
Hauling Concrete Yourself $32-40 to dump per ton, excluding truck rental and gas costs

Got a Lot of Concrete To Get Rid Of?

If you have a lot of concrete waste, reach out to us to book a concrete dumpster rental today! We can help you get rid of all your concrete waste sustainably and at an affordable rate.

Book a Concrete Dumpster

Concrete Recycling Options

Concrete can easily be recycled and reused in many different ways. Concrete and asphalt can be crushed and used as aggregate in new concrete, and as a base material in roads and landscaping projects, for example.

Concrete Recycling Centers

Large concrete recycling centers will accept clean concrete waste all year round, and you can avoid dumping fees altogether. Search online for C&D recycling centers, landscape suppliers, and building supply companies in your area.

Asphalt Milling Services

For example removals, you can call asphalt mining professionals to remove the top layer of asphalt for the cost of about $10-20 per ton.

Reuse Concrete In Projects

You can repurpose used concrete chunks or blocks into your landscaping, such as turning them into a firepit, creating a stepping stone path with smaller pieces, or utilizing the chunks for landscape edging.

Regulations and Guidelines for Concrete Disposal

The disposal of concrete is regulated by local and state governments and at the federal level under EPA guidelines for C&D waste.

It’s important to check with your local municipalities or waste management facilities to find out what the regulations for concrete disposal are in your area. The concrete recycling process can have environmental impacts on air and water quality, and strict guidelines are in place to protect them.

How to Prepare Concrete for Disposal

Breaking down large pieces of concrete for disposal involves cutting, drilling, or grinding the concrete into smaller pieces that can be collected and safely transported to the proper disposal site.

Tools for Breaking up Concrete

Here is a list of the best tools to prepare concrete for disposal:

  • Shovel

  • Heavy-duty wheelbarrow

  • Demolition hammer

  • Metal cutting saw blade

  • Sledgehammer

  • Wrecking bar

  • Bolt cutters

  • Rotary tool

Don’t forget safety and protective gear, like work gloves, safety glasses, and earplugs.

Sorting Concrete and Removing Contaminants

Sorting concrete and removing contaminants is an important step for concrete disposal, as it makes recycling easier and keeps hazardous waste out of the environment. If the concrete has been exposed to toxic substances, including lead-based paints, it has to be handled as hazardous waste.

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FAQs About Concrete Disposal

Concrete can be dumped safely at:

  1. A local landfill or transfer station

  2. C&D recycling centers

  3. Building supply companies

Never dump concrete debris on:

  1. Private property

  2. Public property, including parks and forests

Concrete can easily be recycled. There are many C&D recycling centers across the country that dispose of concrete chunks and crush them for reuse in other building materials.

Depending on the type of dumpster you rent, you may or may not be able to mix in different materials with your concrete. If you book a concrete dumpster rental, the only allowed materials are concrete and a little bit of construction waste like paper, wood, or glass. If you book a construction and demolition dumpster, you can put all C&D materials in it, but be cautious of the heavy concrete making your dumpster overweight.

Mortar is considered a hazardous material because it contains chemicals and cannot be disposed of in the same way as non-hazardous concrete. You should take large amounts of mortar to a hazardous waste disposal facility.

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