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Recycled Concrete Aggregate Usage & Benefits

RCA (recycled concrete aggregate) is a cheaper alternative to virgin aggregates and has many uses in the construction process.

What is Recycled Concrete Aggregate?

Crushed concrete - also called recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) - is made up of construction & demolition debris. New construction projects often require the demolition of old structures that yield large amounts of broken concrete from demolished buildings, footings, sidewalks, crubs & gutter, ramps, pathways, and driveways. Traditionally, construction & demolition waste has been landfilled or disposed at a centralized recycle yard.


Is Recycled Concrete Aggregate as Good as Virgin Aggregates?

In the simplest form, concrete is virgin aggregate that is glued together with a cement binder. A concrete crusher breaks up chunk concrete and fractionates the material so that you generate a new recycled concrete aggregate product. The cement dust that is generated helps to compact the material nicly and makes a good roadbase. The quality of the recycled concrete aggregate depends on the feed material and the crushing process. The better quality product you produce the easier it is to sell or reuse on jobsites.


Your feed material affects material quality

The cleaner the feed material the more homogenous the end product. If your feed material is mixed with dirt, garbage, and other debris your end product will contain some of the infeed contaminants. Therefore, it is important to manager concrete disposal sites so that inferior product with contaminants is not mixed with clean concrete product. Red brick tends to be an indicator for an inferior recycled product because brick has a lower tensile strength. You can easily spot red brick contamination which makes the material hard to sell.

The cleanest concrete material you can get is washout concrete from ready-mix trucks and rejects from the concrete production process. This material is free from any contaminants and steel and makes a very consistent and high-quality recycled concrete aggregate product.

Recycled concrete aggregate products are 15% to 17% lighter in weight than natural stone aggregates giving you more product for a lower price than natural stone.


Your crushing process affects material quality

Another influencing factor is your crushing process. Recycled concrete aggregate can be produced with a jaw crusher or an impact crusher. A jaw crusher produces a coarse and jagged 3" non-spec material vs an impact crusher is capable of producing a ¾“- DOT spec material.

Concrete Disposal is Expensive and Problematic

As quarries, gravel pits, landfills, and recycle yards are pushed out of urban areas concrete disposal becomes a long and costly process. Without turning concrete into a recycled aggregate product contractors face high material and disposal costs and waste time hauling material.

  • Recycled concrete aggregate is cheaper than virgin aggregates
  • Concrete recycling takes up less landfill space
  • Preserve natural ressources
  • On-site concrete recycling takes dump trucks off the road
  • Save tipping and haulage costs



How to produce recycled concrete aggregate?

(1) Stockpile concrete

Put concrete in a stockpile and ensure to reduce contaminants by seperating dirty material from clean concrete material.

(2) Preprocess concrete for crushing

Concrete needs to be sized before crushing with a hydraulic hammer or concrete pulverizer. Long strands of rebar need to be cut so that rebar is mostly encapsulated in concrete.

(3) Recycle concrete with a mobile crusher

Produce your own recycled concrete aggregate with either a closed circuit crusher or a mobile crusher with an additional screening plant. The crushing process liberates encapsulated rebar and a magnet segregates rebar to the side.

What are the uses of recycled concrete aggregate?

Recycled concrete aggregate can be used in a variety of applications including:

  • Base & Subbase
  • Backfill
  • Retaining walls
  • Shoulder back-ups
  • Draingage
  • Fill material

Sizes and designations vary by state/province due to governing agency requirements.

  Ontario, CA Illinois, USA New Jersey, USA Pennsylvania, USA Florida, USA
Size 7/8"- 7/8”- 3/4"- 3/4"- 1½“-
Spec Granular A CA6 RCA 2Amodified B-12


Base Material
¾“- dense graded aggregate (DGA)
Fill Material
2"- fill material
Temporary Construction Road
¾“-2" clean stone

Where to buy recycled concrete aggregate?

Typically, recycled concrete aggregate can be purchased whereever concrete is dumped and collected such as designated C&D recycle yards, landfill sites, quarries, or landscape supply yards. Your local concrete plant might recycle washout concrete which makes a very clean recycled concrete aggregate product.


Concrete Crushers RUBBLE MASTER offers mobile jaw and impact crushers to produce various recycled concrete aggregate products.
Inlet opening
Transport dimension
RM J110X Mobile Jaw Crusher RM J110X
Jaw Crusher
450 tph 496 TPH
1,100 x 700 mm 44" x 28"
52,000 kg 114,640 lbs
14.7 m x 2.85 m x 3.4 m 48‘3“ x 9‘5“ x 11‘2“
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RM 120X Mobile Impactor RM 120X
Impact Crusher
350 tph 385 TPH
1,160 x 820 mm 46" x 32"
44,000 kg 95,000 lbs
16,180 x 2,990 x 3,600 mm 52‘10” x 9‘11” x 10‘6“
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RM 100GO! Tracked Impact Crusher RM 100GO!
Impact Crusher
250 tph 275 TPH
950 x 700 mm 37" x 28"
33,600 kg 74,500 lbs
14,700 x 2,860 x 3,155 mm 48'3" x 9'5" x 10'5"
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RM 90GO! Compact Crusher RM 90GO!
Impact Crusher
200 tph 220 TPH
860 x 650 mm 34" x 25"
28,400 kg 62,500 lbs
13,470 x 2,550 x 3,050 mm 44'2" x 8'5" x 10'
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RM 70GO! Compact Crusher RM 70GO! 2.0
Impact Crusher
150 tph 165 TPH
760 x 600 mm 30" x 23"
24,200 kg 53,400 lbs
13,300 x 2,360 x 3,100 43'8" x 7'9" x 10'2"
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