Concrete Recycling?

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Topic: Concrete Recycling?

Home and Garden July 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Concrete Recycling?

We’re wondering if anyone in PoPville might be able to give us some advice.  We’d like to rip up our concrete patio, (~12’ x 12’, we estimate about 3” thick,) but the cost for hauling away concrete seems prohibitive.   We don’t have a massive budget for this, but wouldn’t like to spend the next year digging up & hauling away concrete if that is what it will take to do ourselves.
Our questions are
1. How long will it take to get all of this concrete up with a jack hammer?
2. Is there a good residential concrete recycling program out there? (One that picks up would be fantastic!)
3. Is it simply easier/cheaper to have someone else do it for us; if so any recommendations?
Thanks in advance!

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I am not certain about recycling concrete, but could just be unaware that that is possible lol.
As far as taking out concrete, I don’t think it is all that difficult. Hit it with a sledge hammer, then it cracks, hit cracks with sledge hammer, remove pieces, repeat. If you do get a jack hammer, you should be able to have this thing torn apart in an hour or so max.
We did this on our home this spring, and took all the pieces to the Fort Totten transfer station.
Depending on your physical abilities, and availability of a truck/SUV that is capable of moving this stuff to Fort Totten, I would say this isn’t a huge job. You would likely be able to find a DC resident on Craigslist who would run trips to the dump for you if you are unable, I know I have done things like that in the past, a Saturday morning should get the job done completely in my mind.


DC has a program (River Smart Homes) that will help you pay for some concrete removal. They won’t do the whole thing but I think they will put up to $1,200 into it. Here is the link:

My husband and I did exactly what you are describing this past spring.  here’s what we learned:
– renting a jackhammer at home depot is pretty easy.  4 hour rental was about $60.  neither of us had operated one before and it turned out relatively easy and manageable.  Gloves and goggles are necessary, but it’s totally doable.  we took out a slab about the size of a parking space, 6″ deep, with an even deeper border – sounds bigger than yours – and it took 4-5 hours. i bet yours will go faster.
– commercial hauling costs a ton.  I couldn’t believe some of the quotes we got!  it is totally worth it to take it to fort totten yourself, assuming you are a DC resident (although no one asked for our proof of residency when we got there).  The fort totten web page is helpful for specifics.  We rented a truck at home depot, brought the truck back to the house, loaded it up, drove it to fort totten on a saturday morning, and dumped it all out.  No charge, except for the home depot truck rental.  (Get one of the pick up trucks, if possible. Fort totten doesn’t like enormous moving-style trucks coming in.)
– I bet you could get your project done in a saturday, if you start early enough.  (Fort totten closes at 3pm on saturdays.)  I highly recommend braving the jack hammer rental and hauling yourself to fort totten.  it’s easy and inexpensive!

I, too, have done some jackhammering this spring with a jackhammer rented from Home Depot.  My work didn’t go as quickly/easily as kyle-w’s one-hour job . . . I’d plan a few hours.  And one option for hauling is renting a pickup truck from UHaul . . . $20 + $11 insurance + $0.50 per mile for a 24-hour rental . . . and concur with the recommendations for Fort Totten transfer station disposal if you’re a DC resident.  (Bring your DC ID . . . I go there a few times a year and have almost always been required to produce ID.  This is definitely a suitable DIY project if you’re in reasonably fit and in good health.  Good luck!

Also, regarding Home Depot jackhammer rental, the HD on Rhode Island Ave. rents two sizes . . . I rented the larger of the two . . . I believe it was 70 lbs. . . . and it was a beast . . . quite difficult for one person to handle.  Anyone have experience with the smaller size, which I believe is 30 lbs.?  Next time I think I’ll try the smaller one.

We just did the same with a sledge hammer for a sidewalk and padio in our backyard. Biggest item outside of sledgehammer: crowbar! Hugely helpful in breaking up the concrete if you don’t have a jackhammer. As far as the recycling goes, we took the biggest slabs of concrete and turned them into flower boxes. A friend posted them on her blog if you are interested: 

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