Handling Special Construction & Demolition Waste Part II: Asphalt, Brick & Concrete Rubble

This a second article on dealing with special construction and demolition waste at the site before it gets into the trash dumpster. This piece tackles the recycling methods for asphalt, brick and concrete (ABC) rubble generated by the demolition of buildings, bridges or roadways.

ABC rubble is the type that contains only weather-beaten  asphalt pavement, clay bricks and attached mortar normally used in construction, or concrete that may contain (metal reinforcing (or rebar). To qualify as this type of ABC rubble the materials cannot be painted, coated or infused with any other substances.

Though Massachusetts bans ABC rubble from solid waste facilities, landfills, incinerators and transfer stations, the Commonwealth encourages its recycling and reuse.

Method 1

In the state’s view, there are two general ways to deal with ABC rubble.  The first is to take it to an asphalt batching plan or a crushing operation. .At the batching plant, the asphalt is crushed and made into new asphalt.  At the crushing operation the rubble is squashed into pieces of less than less than six inches which can be used as a substitute for stone or aggregate in construction projects.

No permit or prior notification of Mass DEP is required to take the rubble to either type of recycling facility. However, a separate roll-off dumpster is necessary. Contact Graham Waste for information and fees on this.

Method 2

A second way to deal with ABC rubble is on-site crushing.  When the rubble is crushed where it is generated and meets the conditions detailed below, it’s no longer considered a solid waste and can be used as a substitute for conventional construction materials, such as the base for a road, a driveway or for fill.

These conditions include:

  • Materials crushed are only ABC rubble and not contaminated, painted, coated or saturated with any substance.
  • Good management practices are used and no public nuisance is created.
  • All rubble is from the site where the rubble is being crushed. (i.e., rubble cannot be brought in from other locations and crushed).
  • The maximum length of the largest dimension of any piece of rubble is less than six inches.
  • If rubble contains metal reinforcing, all of it is removed and recycled or disposed of at an approved solid waste management facility. (Graham Waste can provide additional roll-off dumpsters for this kind of recycling. Additional fees do apply.)
  • Rubble should be crushed and reused or transported off-site within a reasonable time.
  • At least 30 days prior to crushing the rubble, Mass DEP and the local board of health must be notified.

If you have additional questions on on-site crushing, contact your Mass DEP Regional Solid Waste office.