Concretor lauded

A CAPEL businessman has developed a system that allows returned concrete to be fully recycled.

It could be the first 100 per cent concrete recycling system in Australia.

Capel Concrete owner Phil Thorpe said the bulk of returned concrete was put to use in other products but the remainder is often hard to recycle.

“We put water in to wash out the bowls of our trucks,” Mr Thorpe said.

“That water is put through a trommel screen and everything smaller than five millimetres falls through the screen.

“The larger aggregates come through the wash as good as when they came from the quarry.”

The material that falls through the screen is dried and used as a soil conditioner.

The water used in the cleaning process is decanted off and stirred up. This is then sprayed onto sporting fields as a liquid soil conditioner.

“We’ve entered the agricultural industry,” Mr Thorpe said.

In WA about 1.5 million cubic metres of concrete are sold each year and between 75,000 cubic metres and 120,000 cubic metres of waste concrete ends up as landfill.

Leftover concrete is very alkaline and can alter the structure of the soil and ground water.

Capel Concrete’s Capmin concrete recycler earned it the small business award in the WA Recycling and Waste Reduction Awards.

Mr Thorpe said the company was now ready to offer its system to other concrete manufacturers. He said the system cost $25,000.

As well as its concrete reclaimer, Capel Concrete is an agent for Readymix, operating three agitator trucks. It also has a precast facility for the construction of products used in the building industry.

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