Comparing recycled concrete aggregate prices with quarry aggregates

image showing piles of recycled concrete aggregates and topsoil at school building worksite

We all know it’s better to use recycled products where possible. It’s a simple act that can preserve the natural environment and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. 

But actually, there’s another very big benefit for businesses who choose recycled concrete: price!

In general, recycled concrete aggregate prices are lower than the virgin aggregates you can buy at the quarry… and they do exactly the same job. This is great news for small or large businesses who need raw products that aren’t just environmentally sustainable, but sustainable from a cost perspective, too.

Maybe you’re thinking about making the switch to recycled aggregates? Before you place your next order or choose a supplier, why not do some research? We’ve got all the info you need on how the products work, where they come from, exactly how much you can save, and other costs you need to consider.

Where does recycled concrete aggregate come from?

First thing’s first: in case you’re not familiar with recycled concrete aggregate, let’s go through the basics.

Recycled concrete aggregate is made from clean concrete waste. Old concrete buildings, pathways, foundations, driveways, and carparks get demolished and taken to our concrete recycling plant here in Moreton Bay. We use our equipment to break up the concrete pieces and sort them into different sized aggregates.

For more info on how this works, check out our previous blog, types of equipment we use to recycle concrete waste into new products. We share all about our concrete recycling plant and process.

Are recycled aggregates the same as quarry aggregates?

machines recycling concrete into aggregates and dust

Recycled aggregates function in the exact same way as the quarry product. Depending on the size of the rock (we do anything from 5mm-75mm), you can use it for:

  • Drainage
  • Driveways
  • Pathways
  • Retaining wall fillings

Our CBR80 is a high quality crushed concrete used under concrete slabs for buildings, pathways, or driveways. Our recycled CBR80 product is also ideal for laying driveways and pathways – even with heavy traffic. That’s because it has a high cement content.

The recycled concrete aggregates function the exact same way as quarry products, especially if you buy them from a reputable source that creates clean, quality products.

What’s the recycled concrete price compared to virgin products?

The biggest difference between quarry aggregate and recycled concrete aggregate is price. Prices vary between quarries and recycling companies based on:

  • Location
  • Availability
  • Demand

But in general, recycled concrete prices are usually going to be cheaper than purchasing virgin products from a quarry.

We’ve done some research and looked at a few quarry companies that supply aggregates to compare how they price their products with our current pricing for recycled concrete products. Here’s what we found:

 

Product

Average quarry price*

MBR Recycled product price*

% saved by choosing recycled

7mm drainage aggregate

$26.74

$28.60

-6.52%

10mm drainage aggregate

$28.34

$28.60

-0.91%

20mm drainage aggregate

$24.46

$17.60

38.98%

40mm drainage aggregate

$25.00

$24.20

3.31%

75-100mm drainage aggregate

$26.99

$17.60

53.32%

Pavement base – crusher dust

$16.33

$11.00

48.48%

Under slab – 2nd grade scalps

$13.62

$13.20

3.21%

CBR 80 – gravel/scalps

$27.39

$19.80

38.33%

AVERAGE SAVINGS:

22.28%

 

*Note that we’ve listed the quarry and recycled concrete prices per tonne.

This was an interesting exercise! It revealed that while a few of our recycled products are priced similarly (or even slightly higher) than comparable quarry products), overall, businesses can save a significant amount per tonne when they purchase the recycled aggregate, dust, or scalps.

Of course, the methodology we used here was imperfect. That’s because it’s tricky to get data on what other companies charge. We managed to get access to wholesale pricing for four quarries, mostly in the local area, but in an ideal world, we’d have compared more companies. Also, most of the quotes we were comparing our prices to are between 4-15 months old. It’s likely that some suppliers have increased their prices since then.

While it’s important to take this data with a grain of salt, you can’t deny the trend – recycled concrete prices are generally lower than the cost of virgin/quarry products

Other costs to consider

Moreton Bay Recycling trucks delivering recycled concrete aggregate products to a building site

Of course, when buying any kind of landscaping product by the tonne, it’s important to realise you probably have some other costs to account for, too. Make sure you budget extra for:

  • Delivery costs if you get it delivered by the supplier
  • Fuel and other vehicle costs if you deliver it using your own truck(s)
  • The waste levy payable if you dispose of leftover materials at the dump (you can always bring your unused product back to us for free)
  • Surcharges if you need the product picked up or delivered outside of regular business hours
  • Any product testing, if required
  • Consumer pricing (not wholesale) if you’re purchasing on a small-scale for a project around your home, rather than for your trade or business

Always make sure you understand all the costs involved for your business/project before you get started.

Other benefits of choosing recycled concrete products

While cost is a huge benefit of choosing recycled concrete aggregates, it’s certainly not the only one. In the long-run, the most important benefit is that it’s better for the environment.

When you choose recycled products, you keep natural rocks in the ground and reduce your company’s environmental footprint. That’s not just a feel-good benefit, though. Companies that choose environmentally friendly alternatives often have a competitive advantage, as more customers and clients choose to partner with companies that respect the environment.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning convenience and proximity. Partnering with a company like Moreton Bay Recycling could also be more convenient for you, depending on the location of your worksite. We’re located just off the Bruce Highway at Narangba. For many local developments in north Brisbane, we’re closer than a trip to the local quarry.

Plus, we offer drop-off and pick up in one convenient location – so you can drop off concrete waste and pick up fresh product all in one go. What’s more is, we don’t require customers to go through a lengthy induction or use a weighbridge, which means you can get in and get out much more efficiently.  Overall, the time and fuel savings can really add up for your business.

Give recycled products a go and see for yourself

If you’re still on the fence about using recycled concrete aggregates instead of your usual quarry products, why not pop into our recycling plant and see for yourself? You’re always welcome to check out the yard, touch and see the products, drop off old concrete, and come meet our team.

Or maybe you want a copy of our current price list? Send an email to info@moretonbayrecycling.com.au and we’ll send you an up-to-date list of our recycled concrete products and prices.

I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at not only the quality of the product, but how much time and money you can save.

– Hilary Dold, General Manager