Do you ever wonder how many bricks you see on any given day? The average home is made up of thousands of them – so on a walk down the average street, you could see more than half a million bricks!
The humble brick is such a prevalent construction material, thanks largely to it’s good looks, strength and ease of manufacture.
Traditionally, bricks are made of natural clays like shale, which are crushed and ground, mixed with water and then either extruded or moulded. The wet brick is then coated if required, before being allowed to dry. Finally, the brick is fired in a kiln to finish.
Sometimes the clay itself dictates the colour – but additives can be blended with the clay to produce different colours and improve the strength of the finished brick.
But like everything else, bricks have a working lifetime; so what happens when it’s time to dispose of bricks?
Recycling, Restoring and Reusing Bricks
Most of the time, old bricks are in good enough shape to be reused as they are – and weathering, lichen and subtle variation is actually quite desirable in restoration projects. Reclaimed bricks must be completely intact in order to be passed on.
But thankfully, there’s still plenty of value left in damaged bricks.
Aggregate and Drainage Media
Heavily damaged bricks can be recycled into new materials: like aggregates for use as backfill or as a sub-base for roads.
Recycled bricks can be crushed and processed – to make tennis court surfaces, running tracks – or even as starting material for new bricks.
But there are some limits to what bricks can be recycled; contaminated bricks, like those used in conjunction with plasterboard or asbestos, are usually too difficult to clean – and must be disposed of responsibly.
Skip Disposal for Bricks
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