New ASTM standard supports recycling fresh concrete, boosts sustainable construction

by Brianna Crandall — February 6, 2017 — A new ASTM International standard will help manufacturing plants better recycle returned fresh concrete, supporting the growth in sustainable construction practices and best practices in project management. The new standard, developed by ASTM’s Committee C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates, covers process, verification, and record-keeping procedures for such recycling.

ASTM member Rich Szecsy, president, Texas Aggregates and Concrete Association, explained:

Quite simply, this standard recognizes unused concrete in a fresh state as a potential ingredient for a new concrete batch. In other words, recycled fresh concrete can be treated as a raw-material component just like water, aggregates, and cement.

According to Szecsy, prior to this, manufacturers had some options for repurposing or recycling fresh concrete, but such material was most often disposed of in a landfill. Owners and end users will benefit from the new standard, since it will help lower the environmental impacts of construction.

Szecsy continued:

Because of this new standard, the industry can participate in a more sustainable construction practice in which millions of cubic yards of concrete can now be recycled in a way that is safe for end users and provides a more conscious approach to environmental stewardship.

ASTM C1798/C1798M-16e1, Specification for Returned Fresh Concrete for Use in a New Batch of Ready-Mixed Concrete, is available for purchase from ASTM Standards and Publications online. ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards.

For more news in this sector, visit the ASTM Construction Web page.