When Houston-based Cherry Cos. started in the construction and demolition business decades ago, wasted concrete was a problem. It paid steep tipping fees to bury the massive tonnage they tore up daily.
Things have changed.
Today, the company's biggest challenge is wrangling enough of it to sell as it has become a hot commodity, especially for use in road construction. Concrete aggregate is now the most recycled material by weight in the United States, according to data from the Construction and Demolition Recycling Association (CDRA). A growing number of transportation agencies are incorporating recycled concrete aggregate, which has proven at least as durable as virgin aggregates and about 15 percent to 20 percent cheaper.