How can I reuse or recycle slabs of concrete?

concrete wallWe’ve had an email from Jamie:

What can I do with an old concrete wall? It was in panels so came apart quite easily. I’ve got 12 panels in total, each about 1′ by 4′. They’re flat on one side and have a slight raised design on the other.

They’re not in perfect condition because they’re probably 20 years old but they’re ok. We took them down because it made the garden look like a prison yard and we thought a hedge would be nicer instead!

Our beloved friend Freecycle is an obvious thought here – someone else might dig that prison yard aesthetic.

Depending on how thick/strong they are, using them as paving might be another idea – perhaps in a low traffic area of the garden if they’re not as solid as patio flags (lining paths in a veg plot springs to mind).

If you’re willing to break them down, I dare say the concrete could be used for all sorts of things that need a bit of extra weight – the bottoms of planters for example. Ooh, that’s another idea: as giant coasters under tubs on fancy patios/decking, for when you don’t want the run off from the tubs to damage the stone/wood.

Any other ideas? Suggestions for using them whole and in bits are both welcome.

(Stock photo by sundstrom)

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6 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle slabs of concrete?”

  1. Bellen says:

    Could they be stacked for garden benches or to put container plants on, make raised beds? Cement can be painted so the look can be altered.

  2. Bobbie says:

    Several together would make a good backdrop for a waterfall fountain. I can see it already with a tub below and the water trickling down the surface.

  3. melissa says:

    A bit specialist here, but those would be PERFECT for ballast on a boat. Boats that were built for carrying heavy loads need (quite literally) tons of ballast when they’re converted to livaboards, and concrete and iron are the two most popular choices. Our dutch barge has several tons of concrete simply poured into the hull, but removable weights like what you’re describing are absolutely ideal as they can be shifted to check up on the hull condition from time to time and easily fit under floorboards. In fact, we’re in need of some more ballast since we’re ripping out some extraneous water tanks (which were installed for… you guessed it – ballast!).

    • adrian says:

      i am at present using old concrete slabs and breaking them in to small pieces.These are then placed on the garden instead of buying pebbles, pea shingle etc.I am also doing the same with house bricks.Theyve been place on recycled builders bags instead of weed fabric.The effect of red brick in sections gives a good contrast to the grey concrete.The shards and other tiny pieces are scattered over to fill gaps.Also rain can still drain…My evergreens really stand out.Its hard work though smashing them up…My project is still not completed yet after 2 months.Lots have people in my village are impressed and donating their rubbish and are surprised how good it looks.I will get a foto took and upload it soon.

  4. Shorty says:

    Perhaps cut them into shapes and use them as stepping stones in one’s garden.

  5. Bertie says:

    If all else fails, break it up & sell as hardcore

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