How to dispose of mortar?

In this article, we discuss the various ways one can use in order to dispose of mortar. Furthermore, we also discuss how to store mortar, and other purposes for which leftover mortar can be used.

How to dispose of mortar?

To dispose of mortar, simply follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Use construction-grade plastic bags to wrap unneeded dry mortar. Place the plastic package in the garbage for little amounts of mortar. Transport big amounts of leftover mortar to a hazardous waste disposal site.
  • Collect any chunks of cement or constructions that incorporate mortar. Place the pieces in plastic bags and bring them to a hazardous waste disposal facility or a crusher firm.
  • Reduce the amount of mortar you have to dispose of by mixing little amounts at a time. Mix no more than you will need for the project.

What is mortar?

Mortar is an intimate mixture of inert cementing materials like mud, lime, cement, or a combination of these, fine aggregates like sand, and water that is widely used for binding building blocks and plastering the masonry surface.

There are several types of mortars. These are categorised as:

  • Cement mortar
  • Mud mortar
  • Lime mortar
  • Special mortars

We shall discuss these in brief below.

Cement mortar

It is a close blend of cement, sand, and water. It can be blended by hand or by machine. The mortar should be used within half an hour of adding water, and it should be re-tempered every 15 minutes before being used again. 

The quantity of sand and cement in the mortar determines its strength. Cement mortar is used for the following purposes:

  • To join masonry elements such as stones and bricks, as well as to plaster slabs and walls.
  • It is used to give walls, concrete surfaces, and masonry pointed joints a crisp finish.
  • It is also used to make concrete blocks, fill seams and fractures in walls, and as a filler in stone masonry and Ferro-cement projects.

Mud mortar

Mud mortar is formed by combining sand and clay in such a way that when they are combined with water, no fractures appear after drying. 

To avoid future wall cracks, no stones should be present in the mixture. Small amounts of hydrated lime, bitumen, and cow dung are added to achieve a better-plastered surface.

This mortar is less durable and is widely utilised in the construction of low-cost dwellings and animal shelters.

Lime mortar

It is one of the earliest known varieties of mortar, consisting of lime and sand mixed with water. Lime mortar is made from fat lime or hydraulic lime and inert ingredients like sand, surkhi, or cinder.

These mortars are flexible and versatile, forming strong connections with construction pieces. Charminar, a prominent historic edifice in Hyderabad, was the world’s first monument built with lime mortar and granite.

Plastering requires fat lime mortar, whereas masonry requires hydraulic lime mortar. Cement mortar has totally replaced lime mortar on the market due to its flexibility.

Special mortars


These mortars are prepared for specific requirements and they include:

  • Cement clay mortar: The quality of clay mortar can be increased by adding cement in a ratio of 1:1 clay to cement to the mixture. The use of cement increases the cost as well as the durability.
  • Gauged cement mortar: This mortar is made by mixing sand with lime mortar and then adding cement. Within 30 minutes after adding water, this combination should be utilised. It is less expensive than cement mortar and has a quality that falls between cement and lime mortar.
  • Decorative mortar: These mortars are made using coloured cement to provide wall surfaces a beautiful appearance.

General uses of mortar

  • It is used to hide imperfections in the built surface.
  • A smooth surface is achieved with mortar plaster.
  • Mortar connects and strengthens the construction blocks.
  • Mortar helps to provide an equal surface for putting construction block courses.

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