How Aggregate is used in Construction

Aggregate Stone

The environmental and fiscal benefits of using aggregate in construction are no secret. Being able to repurpose recycled materials to lower costs and improve the overall quality of projects is a major advantage that construction aggregates offer to property owners and city planners alike. But how exactly do construction companies use aggregate? If you can’t think of the answer: Don’t worry. We’ve compiled a list that demonstrates that many ways that aggregate is used.

To Strengthen and Support

Construction workers turn to aggregate most often to strengthen and support various structures. Aggregate provides a strong, hard base for workers to build on top of. Its use as a foundation offers a strong yet flexible base for buildings, bridges, and dams. In roads and railway ballast, aggregates are used to resist the overall (static and dynamic) load as well as to distribute the load properly to the supporting ground.

To Drain Water

When used as a foundation, recycled aggregate also greatly improves drainage for buildings. Construction aggregate also allows water to better drain off of road surfaces. Aggregate is one of the main reasons why your vehicle doesn’t simply sink into the soil during wet spells. While water sticks closely to soil particles, it has a harder time holding on to the voids between aggregates so gravity takes over and allows the water to drain.

To Reduce Shrinkage and Cracking

When concrete is mixed, construction workers mix in more water than necessary with the dry components. This extra water results in a difference of moisture content which produces stresses that ultimately are relived when they crack the concrete structure. These are called “Shrinkage Cracks.” Since water doesn’t affect aggregates like it does soils, the use of construction aggregates keep structures from sustaining shrinkage cracks during dry spells.

Do you know any other uses for construction aggregate? Let us know in the comments below!

10 Ways to Reuse Plastic

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We all know these three words. In fact, most of us have grown up hearing them. Why is it then, that we often focus only on “recycle”? Reduce and Reuse are just as important when it comes to going green and taking care of our environment.

This post is going to focus on the second word, “reuse” and how we can reuse plastic bags without just throwing them in the recycling bin or using them again at the store. Over 1 trillion plastic bags are used every year worldwide. That means every minute, approximately 2 million plastic bags are used. Think about that… that’s a lot of plastic being used probably only one time. Below are 10 creative ways to reuse plastic bags to make our lives easier and our impact on the environment greener.

  1. Keep left over plastic bags in your glove compartment to use as trash and recycling bags on road trips. This is also helpful if you have kids and are just driving across town!
  2. When going on a trip, pack your shoes in plastic bags before you throw them in your luggage. That way, the rest of your belongings will be kept clean from any dirt or germs at the bottom of your shoes. You can also use these on trips to keep dirty clothes separated from clean ones!
  3. Have kids? You can use plastic bags as parachutes for action figures to elevate the fun at playtime. All you need are plastic bags and string (or dental floss!) Check out these directions and get crafting!
  4. If you’re moving anytime soon, save up your plastic bags and use them to pack drinking glasses, vases, and other fragile items. A layer of four bags or so around each object provides it with enough protection without the mess of newspaper ink or broken Styrofoam.
  5. In the winter you can use plastic bags to cover up your side view mirrors and windshield wipers on your car. When it gets cold or snows those parts will be frost-free!
  6. You can even use plastic bags to help you clean! Use them to dust off out-of-season shoes and anything dusty that might be forgotten in your closet.
  7. Plastic bags are soft when piled together so you can use them to stuff pet beds or throw pillows that have thick fabric covers.
  8. When it’s cold outside you can use plastic bags to protect plants from getting frost overnight. Just cover them with the plastic bags and tie the handles around the pots. Make sure you remember to take the bags off in the morning!
  9. If you’re going to be doing arts and crafts, cut slits in the sides of your plastic bags and lay them out on your crafting surface so you don’t make a mess!
  10. If all else fails or you’re just not the creative type, you can save up your plastic bags and donate them. Look for local food pantries, libraries, grocery stores, or hospitals that will take them.

Latest Recycling Trends

Here at West Side Environmental we’re concerned about the preservation of our environment and the proper disposal of materials. Basically, we think recycling is really trendy. Who cares what Rihanna wore to the MET Gala? If it wasn’t recycled plastic bottles and cardboard TP rolls, we’re really not that interested.

So while it might be a while before the likes of Rihanna thinks recycled clothing is the new black, we hope that these recycling trends will inspire you to make a difference in the way you dispose of your waste. Here’s a quick look at the freshest ways the leaders in the waste and recycling industry are staying green.

1. Most companies in our industry are embracing the change from diesel fuel to compressed natural gas (CNG). 10% of all waste and recycling truck fleets have made the big switch in order to reduce their carbon footprint.

2. Big cities are creating more aggressive waste agendas. For example, New York City just signed a 20-year agreement with Covanta to convert the city’s municipal solid waste (MSW) into clean, reusable energy.

Big cities get serious about recycling

3. Dealing with coal ash is another new trend in the recycling industry. Coal ash is formed when coal is burned to create steam for power generation. Approximately 45% of all coal ash is reused.

4. Extended Producer Responsibility laws are gaining ground in certain areas of the country. These are the laws that pertain to the disposal of more hazardous materials like batteries.

5. Financial performance is increasing for recycling companies. This means that the population is becoming more environmentally aware and recycling more.

6. Mergers and acquisitions of multiple recycling and waste companies are a large trend in the industry.

7. More and more states are now embracing recycling goals. Comprehensive recycling plans are a growing trend.

8. Lastly, States are banning food waste from landfills and adopting organics recycling.

Avoid hidden fees in every dumpster rental with this tip.

What they don’t want you to know

rail-car-facility-bw

There are Green waste management services like Cardella Waste and Westside Environmental and then there’s  NonGreen dumpster rental services. These commercial construction waste haulers don’t want you to know this one thing. It is more expensive to dump the waste generated when building a New York skyscraper or a New Jersey home than it is to recycle it. Don’t give your waste to a roll-off rental company that just dumps directly into a landfill. It’s cheaper to use a company that recycles and then only goes to the landfill as a last resort.

 

How does Recycling Lower your New Jersey Tipping Fee

Sustainable Jersey Logo

Every pound of waste that is given to a landfill costs you more money. New Jersey has some of the highest tipping fees in the country. The average cost per ton of waste is $72 according to a 2013 survey of Tipping Fees per US State. Recycling waste from a construction site means you can save thousands of dollars by the end of the project. Remember, the tipping fee is more expensive than the cost to recycle in many parts of the US.

Get in Touch

Westside Environmental

 

Click the link to learn more about our Green Services for construction crews seeking LEED qualification or just looking to save on hauling construct waste. Don’t forget to check out our other blog post here.

Contaminated Air purified by Negative-air system at MRF

Why our Negative-Air System is Important to Westside Environmental?

contaminated air purified by negative-air system before it is released into the atmosphere to be environmentally friendly.

Westside Environmental is one of the greenest material recovery facility in NJ. We processes thousands of pounds of recycled materials every month. Chief among these materials is contaminated soil. When we clean the soil and remove toxins, chemicals, carcinogens, petroleum, and other harmful elements, we need to make sure we aren’t releasing these into our air. Cleaning the soil is a process called soil remediation and it has to be done very carefully to avoid any harm to the environment.

Soil Remediation

Soil Disposal and soil remediation in new jersey with a yellow excavator digging up the soil

When we clean contaminated soil from a brownfield, harmful materials are released into the air. Westside Environmental is unique when it comes to cleaning soil. We also clean the contaminated air by-product of the soil cleaning process. To do this, we use the same system employed by hospitals to keep operating rooms clean, we use a negative-air system that purifies any air. So, when we clean soil, all the air is purified before it is released back into the environment.

Why we go the extra mile

We don’t just recycle because it’s fun, we do it because we believe in the future of our planet. Cleaning the soil but polluting the air just doesn’t make sense to us. We  are committed to this air purification system because it’s what the planet deserves, it’s what New Jersey deserves, and it’s what you deserve.

Connect with Westside Environmental

Check out more information about our recycling center and our negative-air purification system on  Twitter,  Facebook, or Google+.  Click here if you want to learn how Westside Environmental is helping New Jersey construction crews go green.  Tweet us at @WestsideEnviro.

Westside Environmental

What is a Material Recovery Facility?

materials recovery facility, otherwise known as a reclamation facility, recycling center or Multi re-use facility is also known by it’s acronym MRF, pronounced “murf”. A MRF is a specialized facility that receives, sorts, cleans, and organizes recyclable and reusable materials for reuse by manufacturers, construction crews,  and government contracts.  There are two different types of MRFs: clean and dirty.material recovery facility

Clean Material Recovery Facility or Clean MRF

A clean material recovery facility generally handles recyclable commingled materials. These reusable materials are separated at the source. This means that if the material is generated from a home it is separated at the home. Clean MRF’s get most of their recyclable waste materials from residential buildings and commercial sources.

clean material recovery facility

 

Dirty Material Recovery Facility or Dirty MRF

Dirty MRFs take in a mix of  solid waste and then separate it by hand and with machines.  The goal is to separate out any recyclable material worth salvaging. This recycling process is not the end result before the materials reach market. Generally, materials are further processed before they can be used in manufacturing or construction. Any material that cannot be recovered at this facility are sent to a specialized facility for further recycling or a landfill. Now our waste reaches landfills without precious materials like stone, aluminum, cardboard, paper, glass, or plastic.

truck-backing-into-facility

Connect with Westside Environmental

Check out more information about recycling centers on  Twitter,  Facebook, or Google+.  Click here if you want to learn how Westside Environmental is helping New Jersey construction crews go green.  Tweet us at @WestsideEnviro.

7 Animals that Recycle Everyday

Apparently we have a lot to learn from our animal friends. They create a balance with their surroundings by taking only what they need to survive. Humans aren’t the only animals that recycle anymore.

7 Animals that Recycle

Number One – Birds

Number Two – Spiders

misunderstood spider recycles

These little guys keep our homes bug free and they also recycle their webbing. By eating their web, they can regain the protein they used to create the structure. Sounds a lot like aggregate recycling.

Number Three – Crabs

hermit crab wearing a shell made out of yellow and blue yellow blocks

Hermit Crabs use whatever is in their environment, even legos.

Number Four- Octopi

recycling octopus uses coconut shells to build a home

Octopi are brilliant, they create temporary homes out of debris found on the ocean floor. From GreenDiary.com

Number Five- Dung Beetles

dung beetle recycling in the sahara dessert

Dung beetles recycle feces all day, every day. They build their homes, lay eggs, and even eat the poop. These guys are one of the most valuable bugs on the planet. Last year they saved the cattle industry $380,000,000 by processing cattle manure.

Number Six- Coral

coral reef seen halfway under blue ocean water and half the image is above the water by a cliff with green trees growing out of it.

Although over three quarters of the world’s coral reefs are endangered, these resilient adaptable beings can stick themselves onto almost any hard surface. They basically use whatever is around, sunken battleships, underwater cables, pipelines, you name it.

Number Seven- Elephants

a grey african baby elephant recycles old christmas tree by eating it.

Did you know elephants help us recycle christmas trees every year? After the holidays, zoos give the trees to animals to snack on.

Connect with Westside environmental

These adorable animals are doing their part to save the environment, you should to.  Check out our other popular posts on  Twitter,  Facebook, or Google+.  Don’t forget, tweet us@WestsideEnviro.

6 Recycling Videos you Need to See

Where do materials go when we recycle?

We do our best to reduce, reuse, and recycle. But be honest, do you really know where the construction aggregate, plastic, glass, or cardboard go when you send them off to be recycled? Well we found 6 Videos for you to watch that will explain everything.

reduce reuse and recycle with these recycling videos from westside environmental

Click this image to learn more about Westside Environmental’s New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania Services

After watching these recycling videos, people generally want to get involved in helping the environment. So we included our top ten recycling websites so you can start saving the planet. All these resources are great for businesses, contractors, construction workers, and schools. Help the environment, recycle today!

The Life cycle of a Cereal box

The Life of a cereal box  from Kashi.

Glass Bottle Recycling

Secrets From The Recycling Plant: How A Used Bottle Becomes A New Bottle from Planet Money.

Plastic Bottle Recycling

Plastic Bottles – how they are recycled from RecycleNow.

Paper Recycling

Sesame Street: Recycling Newspaper from Sesame Street.

Recycling Food Waste – BioFuel

Food Waste – how it is recycled from RecycleNow.

Soil Remediation – Recycling contaminated Soil

Bioplant Heavy Metal Soil Remediation by The Bioplant

Top Ten Recycling Websites to Check out

These websites are improving the environment around the world. Each site brings communities together online and in real life. Our favorite is Earth’s 911. They have fantastic resources and articles. Let us know your favorite link in the comments. Don’t see your favorite website? Let us know and we’ll add it next time.

  1. Earth’s 911 
  2. Use Less Stuff
  3. Waste Wise
  4. Canadian Centre for Pollution Prevention
  5. Recycle.com
  6. FreeCycle
  7. Ecology Action
  8. Recycle City
  9. Waste Watch
  10. Recycler’s World

Connect with Westside Environmental

Check out more recycling videos and tips on  Twitter,  Facebook, or Google+.  Click here if you want to learn how Westside Environmental is helping New Jersey construction crews go green.  Tweet us at @WestsideEnviro.

World Construction Reports sees Aggregate Rising until 2017

Growing 5% Greener each year

According to a construction reports, (click here) worldwide demand for construction aggregate is set to rise more than 5% yearly through 2017. This has been attributed to the nations in Africa and Asia developing their infrastructure (click here). As more foreign direct investment pours into these regions, these nations industrialize. With this comes parks, roads, homes, apartments, outdoor furniture and more. Now, this may not be as cool as concrete bricks made from recycled landfill waste (click here). These nations know they can build up a growing economy with environmentally friendly construction aggregate(Download Free PDF).

concrete aggregate with recycled glass and other construction aggregate

Committed to the Concrete

These growing nations are responding to an economic and environmental crisis. Industrializing means growing consumer demands. This results in creating more products that do not decay(See Government Report). According to Robin L. Schroeder, the author of this government report, “the creation of nondecaying waste materials, combined with a growing consumer population, has resulted in a waste disposal crisis.” But there is hope, “One solution to this crisis lies in recycling waste into useful products.” Westside Environmental happens to agree.

 

Get Involved and Start Recycling

At your next project or build recommend you use and contribute to construction aggregate recycling. This can lead to tax breaks, LEED qualification, and a planet that can sustain everyone. Sound like a good deal? Then give us a call to see how easy it is to build and recycle. 201.472.1031

recycle for an environmentally friendly earth

Connect with Westside Environmental

Check out our eco news and green tips on  Twitter,  Facebook, or Google+.  If you want to learn how Westside Environmental is helping New Jersey go green then click that link.  Tweet us at @WestsideEnviro.

Recycled Aggregate

What is Recycled Aggregate?

Today we will be exploring the definition, uses, and benefits of recycled aggregate. If you are in construction or roadwork you should listen up. We  have news that could save you money while helping the environment.

Seriously, what is Recycled Aggregate?

Recycled aggregate is created by crushing asphalt, concrete, and construction waste. When recycled it is used in roadwork as a road base or in construction. Recently this eco material  has been used to create environmentally friendly public street furniture. Its applications are always growing.

Recycled Aggregate concrete street furniture and road pavement

Recycled Aggregate is being used to create public street furniture.

Benefits of Recycled Aggregate

Using recycled aggregate saves money for purchasers, local governments and it creates a green economy. Recycled aggregate takes less energy to make than creating brand new material. Westside Environmental believes that when recycling is done correctly, it conserves precious resources. That’s why we have been involved in recycling for over 20 years.

Let’s review the benefits

Environmentally friendly

Cheaper

Helps grow the economy

Where would I use Recycled Aggregate?

Crews usually use recycled aggregate in paved roads as shoulders, aggregate base,and  sub-base. It has also been used in gravel roads as surfacing. Most modern buildings have it for building foundation. It is frequently used in construction to fill utility trenches. However, with a little imagination you can use this product almost anywhere.

Recently, the national university of Singapore successfully recycled aggregate and concrete into unusual uses. Primarily they have used it to repair and renovate. But they have made strides in the construction entirely new buildings. As seen in the picture below, they even created public benches out of aggregate. We believe this style of construction is a step towards a sustainable and environmentally friendly future.

Recycled Aggregate Concrete benches in Singapore

Aggregate Concrete benches in Singapore

Give us a call  at 201-472-1030 to see if aggregate is right for your project.

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Photo Credit: www.DesignBoom.com