Recycling concrete waste: the state should make the first move

An interview with Richard from Mapei Magazine 13/11/23

Richard Amadio, Director of PumperDump: Environmental awareness in Australia is still very low with traditional disposal methods still being employed

— How high is the level of awareness in your geographical area regarding the environmental impact of returned concrete and washing water slurry?

I believe that in Australia the importance placed on waste streams, and particularly on cleanly collecting and recycling concrete waste and concrete washout, isn’t yet high enoughon anyone’s list of priorities. The current focus on material and labour costs in the built environment is distracting from current opportunities in the circular economy that could offer savings in different areas. Whilst the carbon intensity of cement and concrete production is very high, this lack of concern around concrete waste is accentuated because builders can easily and simply go and buy Green Credits to tick the environmental boxes. This practice creates inadequate incentives which act as a major barrier to progress.Builders are still happy to line concrete washout trays and blow back bins using plastic and tip the dried concrete into the on-site skip bin, comingling it with other building waste. Concrete contaminated by plastic greatly reduces the quality and quantity of what can be recycled or considered for upcycling into new concrete.The washout slurry water is allowed to slop around and go wherever it runs, creating slip risks for workers and environmental run-off risk. The slurry part of the washout process isn’t even considered as a resource for the circular economy!


— In your opinion, what is the most important factor to be able to increase the usage of recycled aggregates in new concrete?

We believe that there are numerous factors needed to increase the usage of recycled aggregates in concrete and it starts with the prime driver, mindset. The mindset shift required will be assisted by policy, regulation and enabling technology. Policy will build awareness, regulation will create incentive and industry actors will undoubtedly then find the investment needed to innovate and collaborate to go forward. Clean waste streams, new systems, infrastructure and processes will follow to deliver upcycled concrete that uses significant proportions of recycled aggregate.



PumperDump has been operating in Sydney, Australia over the past 20 years providing solutions that assist in lowering the environmental impact, costs and safety risk of concrete waste. Sustainability has always been at the forefront of our business principles, driving further innovation and development of new systems for the industry, including the latest patent-pending 5 m3 blowback bin. PumperDump is member of The Green Building Council of Australia which has had a major role in educating, bringing people together, and helping develop new standards for the construction industry.

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PumperDump is the Solution to Pollution | The Responsible Choice

Our previous blogs explored the importance of effective concrete washout management to prevent damage to the environment. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at both the environmental impact of concrete washout as well as what makes PumperDump the responsible choice for your construction projects. It goes without saying, concrete remains one of the most widely used substances in construction projects in the world. Undeniably, it’s one of the most commonly made materials on the planet, and the demand for concrete is astronomical. As the population increases and cities expand, the demand for concrete only increases. The prevalence for concrete is one thing, but it is not the whole story. It’s also the case that the materials which make up concrete can be quite hazardous. Is concrete washout really that bad for the environment? It’s reasonable to wonder if all the racket made over concrete washout is all that justified. After all, concrete structures can be found far and wide, and they don’t seem to be harming anything. Is this perhaps just a case of the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) being overly-cautious and simply extending its reach beyond where it belongs? In short – NO. Concrete washout really is that harmful to the environment. Sure, concrete structures are everywhere. Once concrete dries, it becomes a stock-still substance that no longer poses a threat. Before that, the concrete mixture – and the water that was used in it (not excluding the water that was used to clean off the tools and trucks) – is corrosive. This material contains, grout, plaster, cement, mortar, stucco and other materials that contain harmful chemicals. The danger arises from these materials leaking into local water sources. As previously mentioned, concrete washout water has a toxicity level greater than ammonia and near the same pH level as chlorine bleach. It’s obvious as to why PumperDump tries so hard to prevent these substances from reaching our local water systems. What can we do about concrete washout? So now that it is evident that concrete washout is permissibly harmful to ecosystems, including our waterways. We’ve established that the regulations and precautions implemented by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) are not mere overreactions. What now? What can be done about concrete washout? Good news, there are several ways to approach concrete washout. An approach to concrete washout that used to be very popular was washout pits and washout bags. We’ve discussed before why these “solutions” are a thing of the past. There are many risks – both environmentally and financially – that come from choosing either washout pits or washout bags. We do not recommend it. You simply do not want to make use of inefficient washout systems. Doing so risks:
  • Contaminating lakes and other swimming areas with high amounts of zinc and iron, which have proven to cause diabetes, cancer, skin irritation and other adverse side effects
  • Exposing fresh waterway to corrosive, caustic concrete washout water and materials that may result in all kinds of damage to ecosystems
  • Allowing calcium, magnesium oxide, and calcium – conventional ingredients in ready-mix concrete – to infiltrate our soil systems
What’s the responsible option PumperDump offers alternatives to the inefficient washout systems. We have brought together innovative technology, patented concrete washout separation units and blowback units, a dedication to efficient and quality services, and a passion for ethical environmental practices to bring the industry the best concrete washout solutions. All in all, we understand the importance of needing to tackle construction projects affordably and efficiently, whilst also maintaining ethical environment practices. PumperDump is the responsible choice. We are your solution to washout pollution. Get in contact with one of our concrete washout solution specialists at or by using the PumperDump App (App Store) (Google Play)
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GBCA Members | Sustainability in the Sydney Building and Construction Industry

PumperDump is proud to be acknowledged becoming a member of the Green Building Council of Australia. Our membership demonstrates our commitment to “the sustainable transformation of the built environment”. PumperDump’s core vision aligns with the GBCA in being able to proudly and ethically recycle 100% of all concrete waste and washout water resulting from construction activity, providing a sustainable and zero emissions future for our construction clients as well as for our industry. pumperdump-5M3 truck This is an association with Australia’s sustainability leaders who are committed to:
  • Supporting the creation of buildings and other infrastructure that are environmentally responsible and result in sustainable, efficient, profitable and healthy places for communities to live and work in.
  • Fostering a strong bind amongst peers and associates in the building, design, construction, and sustainable operations industries;
  • Encouraging the development and promotion of sustainable communities and environmentally responsible building practices;
  • Leading market transformation in sustainability and campaigning for the wider recognition of environmentally responsible buildings and practices;
  • Supporting and encouraging educational and research programs aimed at raising the knowledge and skill base of green building practitioners;
  • Actively aligning with relevant publicly funded research to the practice/market requirements for innovation and development in green building implementation;
  • Participating in public debate on environmental issues within the building industry;
  • Supporting the campaigning and soliciting of funds to be applied towards the GBCA’s objectives;
  • Acting with integrity, due care, and in a manner that upholds the reputation of the works and objectives of the GBCA and Green Star rating tools, its officers and employees.
We are pleased to be joining some of the industry’s most influential players on the Green Building Council of Australia register. Below are some of PumperDump’s clients who too are accredited members of the GBCA. Read below some of the exciting developments these companies are currently involved in around Sydney. ADCO Constructions With a national presence across Australia for nearly 50 years, ADCO Construction is one of the oldest and most established construction companies in Australia. A company committed to delivering quality to their clients, ADCO Constructions has managed to build a legacy amongst the industry – with over 3500 projects, valued in excess of $14 billion. Amongst their roaring success, ADCO is also a proud member of the Green Building Council of Australia and remain committed to the success and increased adoption of sustainable construction practices. Some of ADCO Construction’s recent Sydney projects include being the building partner for the next Property Industry Foundation (PIF) House in Sydney, which will give five homeless youth a safe and secure place to live. Hutchinson Builders Established in 1912, Hutchinson Builders is one of Australia’s largest privately-owned building and construction companies. Hutchinson Builders have transformed into a dynamic and diverse construction company, delivering sophisticated projects across a comprehensive portfolio. With 300+ projects built annually, “Hutchies” was able to generate a $2.87 billion turnover in 2020 alone. As members of the Green Building Council of Australia, they are leading the way in developing sustainable approaches and building services systems which address the key environmental criteria associated within the construction industry. With one in every 12 Green Star Rated building in Australia been built by Hutchinson Builders, they have delivered more than $2 billion Green Star Rated buildings. Hutchinson Builders have recently undertaken the first phase of truss installation for the Castle Residence project, working alongside United Development Sydney, bringing together high-end apartments with five-star luxury hotel services and amenities. Richard Crookes Constructions A private, family owned construction company that has been delivering projects as promised; safely and to the highest quality throughout NSW and ACT since 1976. Richard Crookes Constructions remains committed to continually improving the integration of sustainability into their working environment and business processes. RCC aims to portray a proactive role in contributing towards achieving sustainability where they have an influence in the delivery of construction. Whilst being members of the Green Building Council of Australia, Richard Crookes Constructions remains committed to following key objectives with regards to; Sustainable construction, reduced operational resources and sustainable reuse at end of service life. Current projects included the redevelopment of the Wyong Hospital in Hamlyn Terrace, NSW. PumperDump looks forward to pushing the sustainability agenda for all our projects for the benefit of our clients and the community. Want to know more, then get in touch #PumperDumpSolution #Construction #ConstructionIndustry #ConcreteRecycling #ContructionWaste #ConcreteSolutions #ConcreteManagement #ConcretePump #ConcreteWashout #ConcreteWasteManagement #C&DWaste #CircularEconomy #GreenBuilding #Pollution #NSW #NSWGovernment #Sustainability #Sydney #SydneyConstruction
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Introducing PumperDump’s New 5m3 Patent Pending Blowback Bin

Transforming industry experience, a wealth of knowledge and continuous system innovation for concrete pumping and concrete waste collection, PumperDump has been a player in the concrete pumping industry for years.

With the roaring success of the 2m3 (2 Cubic Meter) blowback bin which launched more than 10 years ago, it was not difficult to notice the gap in the market for something a little bigger. After months of planning and trialling, we are proud to introduce the new 5m3 (5 Cubic Meter) blowback bin to the streets of Sydney. 

Our latest innovation would not be possible without the collaboration of some important players in the industry.

We would like to thank Bincorp for the manufacturing of the bin, De Martin & Gasparini for assisting during the construction and for trialling the bin, and WATPAC for permitting this bin to be trialled on their site. We would also like to give thanks to Azzurri Concrete for their input during the construction.

This video shows the second blowback in the same bin without being emptied. PumperDump believes a modest improvement as such could save concrete pumping companies, builders and concrete suppliers money over the duration of a project.

How you ask?

While the delivery line is short and the bin is set in place, you will be able to get a couple of blowbacks into the same bin before it needs to be emptied. Depending on who is paying for the current blowback truck, this could reduce the blowback bill considerably. The bin is also ready at your disposal if there are any problems to occur during the pour – so no waiting for a blowback truck to arrive when time is crucial.

For builders, concreters or concrete suppliers who care about sustainability, there is far less truck movement, reducing the carbon usage associated with a blowout as well completely eliminating the use of plastic, strongly keeping to our policy of no plastic in any of the equipment or waste stream.

Lastly, for the concrete suppliers. There is no need to immediately cart concrete to your yard – reducing fuel consumption, turnaround time for the next load is much quicker, as well as reduced tipping or carting fees for the removal of waste concrete brought back to your yard.

So, depending on who you are in the industry there is a saving for you!

As this is a new system, we have a very limited number of 5m3 (5 Cubic Meter) bins. Nonetheless, we are more than happy to talk to any party interested in using a 5m3 on their current or new projects.
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The Pumper Dump Solution

If you have arrived here after reading, and hopefully enjoying the previous posts, I would like to say thank you.

The story began many, many years ago, while walking in concrete slurry and mud, I thought there had to be a safer, cleaner way to deal with the concrete washout waste after washing a concrete pump.

So, I took to paper and came up with my concept.

Just like the concreters have moved on from pushing wheelbarrows, PumperDump has grown to offer more than just a bin service.

When using PumperDump we assist you to:

  • Avoid using plastic for washout trays
  • Avoid the use of your onsite plant equipment
  • Save your manual labour time and cost to clean up messes
  • Eliminate extra tip fees
  • Better manage any water runoff and possible pollution infringements
  • Give recyclers an uncontaminated product to recycle
  • Reduce unnecessary carbon emissions
  • Introduce sustainable practices while dealing with concrete waste
  • Improve onsite safety
  • One price no hidden costs

Just like the sustainability Venn diagram shows, sustainability covers many areas and we have grown and innovated through constant dialog with builders, assisting them to solve their problems, and in doing that, we have also been able to assist them with their sustainability goals.

It looks simple and is simple, but what this bin can offer is a lot more.

This following chart compares the process and time builders take to deal with the washout tray onsite compared to using PumperDump. It shows the extra plant machinery handling and truck movements taken when done the traditional way.

PumperDump’s Concrete Waste Separation Unit, (CWSU) as we call it, has a 1m3 volume, with an inner tray to capture the concrete and an outer tray to store the wash water to be processed and recycled. PumperDump trays have a larger volume than the standard tray and yes, they can also be overfilled, but the outer tray gives room for the water and a better indication of when the limit will be reached.

We give builders back their skip bin volume for real rubbish, keeping any overweight charges to a minimum and help them mitigate the risk of fines with no more water running out of transported skips.

We don’t tie up onsite plant leaving them to be better utilised for onsite operations.

PumperDump’s no plastic policy delivers the recycler an uncontaminated concrete waste. Instead of plastic, we use our specially formulated water-based concrete release agent on all our bins.

We offer certificates on the concrete and water collected and recycled and the volume of plastic diverted from landfill.

Even when construction has commenced, some builders and concreters are reluctant to use PumperDump, believing it’s an extra cost without seeing the many hidden costs already associated with the cleaning and disposal of concrete waste.

My story goes, from walking through concrete slurry and mud after washing a concrete pump, to starting and growing PumperDump, to now offering a range of services that will help you to a safer more sustainable concrete pumping 21th century.

Want to know more, then get in touch

#PumperDumpSolution #Construction #ConstructionIndustry #ConcreteRecycling #ContructionWaste #ConcreteSolutions #ConcreteManagement #ConcretePump #ConcreteWashout #ConcreteWasteManagement #C&DWaste #CircularEconomy #GreenBuilding #Pollution #NSW #NSWGovernment #Sustainability #Sydney #SydneyConstruction

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Agreeing on a Problem that Needs to be Solved

In summary, the problem associated to the residential builder, is the same as the builder who uses the washout bags, washout trays and piles the concrete in a heap. They all have a degree of hidden costs associated with the handling of the concrete washout waste.

These range in degree of costs in the areas:

  • Use of plastic
  • Use of onsite plant
  • Time for manual labour to clean up messes
  • Extra tip fees
  • Uncontained water runoff and possible pollution infringements
  • Giving the recycler a plastic contaminated product to recycle
  • Unnecessary carbon emitted
  • Unsustainable practices while dealing with concrete waste
  • Onsite safety

I ask you, is this because the builders view the concrete industry like it was in the 1930’s, or because they believe there is no other option on how to deal with this waste, or is it because builders just don’t notice all the hidden costs associated with this process?

Building the Sydney Harbour Bridge

I have on many occasions taken people through our cost comparison chart and they have agreed with the cost savings in using PumperDump, then continue to go back to the same old ways. Change is hard, I know because I also need to do it, but change is what drives improvement.

Even though the word “Sustainability” hasn’t been shouted until recently, the practices have always been there when improving site safety, the environment and the bottom line. Sustainability is now expanding the core areas and the responsibility along the chain is becoming more accountable.

The belief that the waste in the bin is someone else’s problem, is now coming back to the creator of the waste. Builders need to and are becoming more aware of their responsibility on running a building site.

Concrete pumping has never been scrutinised under a microscope, but if viewed through a sustainable lens, builders can reap large benefits over large projects when these practices are implemented.

If you are facing the same problems as theses other builders and are willing to look for a solution and a better way, give me the time to show you what we can offer.

My next post,  what you have told us you need, to solve this problem.

#PumperDump #Construction #ConstructionIndustry #ConcreteRecycling #ContructionWaste #ConcreteSolutions #ConcreteManagement #ConcretePump #ConcreteWashout #ConcreteWasteManagement #C&DWaste #CircularEconomy #GreenBuilding #Pollution #NSW #NSWGovernment #Sustainability #Sydney #SydneyConstruction

Want to know more, then get in touch

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