An established presence in the Auckland market, Atlas Concrete has recently developed its concrete recycling facility in a demonstration of their commitment to sustainable business practices.

The facility is located on a 9300m2 site in Albany, and complements the company’s existing concrete supply business in an effort to provide a full life-cycle approach to their concrete products.

Glen Cossey, a senior structural engineer with Markplan Consulting Ltd which managed the detailed design alongside Atlas Concrete who constructed the facility, believes it will play an important role in minimising waste going to landfill. “By providing an opportunity to substitute quarried materials with recycled crushed concrete Atlas Concrete is helping to conserve natural aggregate resources,” says Glen.

The facility can process demolition concrete into crushed concrete and drainage concrete of various sizes, a process that also involves extracting the (recyclable) reinforcing steel. In addition, returned concrete from the Atlas fleet of trucks can be left to cure prior to crushing, or formed into new mass concrete blocks.

The recycling facility also incorporates a range of measures to minimise its day to day environmental impacts, such as dust mitigation by way of timer controlled sprinklers that use collected stormwater. Similarly, stormwater runoff is treated to meet Auckland Council requirements, while an on-site closed loop truck wash down mechanism also makes use of stormwater.

Seeking to minimise noise and air quality issues the crusher plant building, itself fabricated from 100% recycled steelwork, incorporates acoustic insulation and dust treatment devices. The facility’s paint and planting schemes are designed to blend with the surrounding environment.

The recycling facility features many forms of durable concrete construction. For instance, the concrete yard, with its compacted crushed concrete sub-base, can accommodate frequent use by heavy vehicles.
Mass concrete blocks constructed from returned concrete form the aggregate bins. The stormwater treatment device and all retaining structures are constructed from similar blocks, supplemented with reinforced sprayed or cast in-situ concrete to create the structural form.

Atlas Concrete Chief Executive Graham Collie is justifiably proud of the new facility. “We have created Auckland’s only permanent, large scale concrete recycling facility, which enables us to minimise our environmental impact by reducing waste levels - and what’s more we did it using concrete as the primary construction material,” says Graham.

Taken from the December 2012 NZRMCA Newsletter

Images – Atlas Concrete