Okay, so I have a reputation of defending all things concrete, but sometimes you wish that the
material was not so durable and capable of withstanding the ravages of mother nature, instead like a sandcastle on a beach, it would be nice if it could get easily washed away.
Clearly, you can recycle concrete and I’ve worked on a number of projects where we have looked to
turn old concrete structures or elements into crushed concrete aggregate (as it is called in BS 8500,
the UK British Standard for concrete). CCA can be reused in concrete as a replacement for natural aggregate. When concrete is part of general demolition waste and may be contaminated with other materials like bricks or plasterboard (the latter being a particular problem because excess gypsum disagrees with concrete) then its reuse is probably best left to low-tech applications like fill or hardcore.
However, having read of a recent landscaping scheme by a Mr Steven Johnson of El Sobrante, California, I cannot wait to see this particular use of concrete be subjected to a pneumatic drill and be smashed into oblivion or better still into CCA so that something positive can be crafted out of Mr Johnson’s monstrosity.
I am sure that like me, those of you that have seen or heard the coverage of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in northern France will have found it moving and poignant. Yet, while we were marvelling at the tales of bravery of those once young men storming the Normandy beaches, Mr Johnson
decided that this was a good time to unveil a 3x3m concrete swastika in his front garden.
Apparently, he thinks it looks “cool”; he likes swastikas and to him they symbolise “peace tranquillity and harmony”. Try telling that to those surviving veterans that saw their mates cut down in a hail of bullets.
Let’s hope that Mr Johnson soon sees sense and removes this offensive symbol. I’m sure he’ll find many volunteers to help him turn it into a pile of CCA. Now where did I leave my grading sieves……