Anyone who works in the construction industry knows how costly and inconvenient it is to dispose of hard and bulky excavated spoil.

Material such as bricks, demolition masonry, concrete and broken rocks is weighty stuff, so dropping off loads of these materials to a landfill or recycling facility where you pay by the tonne can add some serious costs to your job.

It’s not just the landfill fees that are going to impact your bottom line. There will be significant expenses if you need a trucking contractor to haul your load away. Even if you or one of your team does the job, there’s the cost of time, fuel, tolls and charges.

Sure, there are materials recycling facilities that will accept your concrete, rock and brick waste for reprocessing, however no matter how you look at it, the costs of getting rid of unwanted materials can be a drag on your business.

Environmental issues

Another consideration is the emergence of environmental issues that are increasingly becoming more of a factor as governments initiate regulation, supported by legislation that respond to the challenges of environmental sustainability.

Traditionally, the construction industry has not been prepared to readily embrace behavioural change. Earthmoving businesses need to understand the value and benefits of materials recycling and will benefit accordingly over time.

Fortunately, there are some equipment suppliers that have developed solutions to these challenges by producing easy to operate crusher buckets and other devices that enable earthmoving contractors to turn potentially costly waste into valuable resources.

On-site recycling

Compact crusher buckets attached to excavators and other earthmoving equipment allow materials to be processed for re-use, right where they are being extracted. Crushed by-products may be either used as on-site aggregates or profitably on-sold to other sites, making this technology a sound investment.

A crusher bucket may be attached to a skid steer loader, track loader, loader backhoe or a mini excavator, which is an ideal setup for small crushing jobs.

There are options on site and task-specific bucket configurations designed to tackle common scenarios such as the separation of non-crushable steel reinforcement or structural materials, dust suppression, noise reduction and maintenance minimisation in this aggressive mechanical environment.

Some mobile crusher buckets are extremely versatile, being designed to tackle tough tasks, such as separating steel reinforcement material from demolished concrete slabs and other places where reinforcement has been used. In these cases, steel reinforcement can drop straight out of the bucket into bins for removal off site.


Common applications for crusher buckets include demolition, residential building, industrial structures, pipeline excavations, railway track ballast, soil and fill mixes for large scale commercial and infrastructure landscaping.

For road construction, you can crush the material and reuse it directly on site as road base, drainage and trench filling. In pipework, crushing gives the option to directly reuse recovered materials for road base and construction and maintenance of sewers or pipelines, limiting the need for buying new material and reducing cartage cost.

Managing small stockpiles

There will also be instances where it isn’t efficient or practical to haul smaller loads of hard waste to a disposal facility straight from a job site. In these situations, contractors may need to haul material back to a yard for temporary storage.

With a crusher bucket, these small or accumulated waste stockpiles can be turned into valuable aggregates that may be sold or re-used as drainage fill.


Authored by Michael Parkinson

Since 2008, Michael has been heavily involved in the earthmoving industry through regular contributions to leading earthmoving, construction and other market publications and newsletters, as well as equipment reviews associated with Australia’s largest earthmoving expo.

Michael’s assignments on behalf of clients have taken him on site at major highway works, railway construction, excavation, rock removal management, building remediation, public works, major residential and infrastructure projects, waste processing and mines throughout Australia. This hands-on approach has given Michael unique insights to the challenges facing owners and operators of capital construction equipment, attachments and ancillary services.