Recycling old concrete can keep waste out of the landfill. Breaking concrete is easier and more cost effective than cutting, and the broken pieces can lend an interesting look to recycling projects.
Test and painted concrete for lead. Only concrete with latex-based paint from after 1978 is clean and recyclable. Contact a lead testing lab for guidelines and testing costs. Scrape the concrete with a sharp knife and place the sample in a sealable bag or container. Wash your hands afterwards. If test results indicate the concrete contains lead or lead paint, take it to a hazardous waste facility.
Check that the concrete is free of debris. Determine if the concrete is suitable for projects. The concrete should look fairly smooth and somewhat flat on the bottom.
Reuse concrete chunks to make a wall, planter box, walkway or patio.
Haul your broken concrete to a local recycling center, contractor or construction recycling service. Recycling is cost effective for these companies. They can use the recycled product as gravel base for roads or as dry aggregate for new concrete. Call recycling services to pick up your concrete if you have no means of hauling.