Most people do make an effort to recycle when and where possible, especially household and residential waste. However, construction sites aren't usually considered a source of recycling practices. But they can be!
So, how much construction debris and waste is produced on a typical job site? And how much of that material can really be reused in some way? The actual amount and overall composition of construction debris varies depending on the type of project and size.
For example, for a typical residential remodel, almost 75% of the debris generated can be recycled and reused. The good news is that this means your construction waste disposal does not have to always mean a trip to the landfill.
C&D Debris Sources
What are the typical sources of construction waste? The overall C&D (Construction & Demolition) debris in the U.S. comes from the following projects:
- 6 % Residential construction
- 3% Non-residential construction
- 11% Residential demolition
- 39% Non-residential demolition
- 22% Residential renovation
- 19% Non-residential renovation
As you can see, almost 40 percent of the overall C&D waste generated in the U.S. comes from commercial demolition. If you're a commercial contractor, this is probably not surprising. What may be surprising, however, is that about 50 percent of all construction debris comes from the smaller residential projects of all types.
C&D Debris Composition
There's a thriving market for waste material and debris that is produced from a typical construction job site. In fact, about 75 percent of the "waste" from a typical residential renovation or remodel can actually be recycled instead of going into a landfill. Here's what that composition looks like:
- 3% Metals
- 5% Masonry
- 8% Drywall
- 9% Architectural elements
- 20% Cardboard
- 30% Wood
This means only about 25 percent of the debris generated cannot be easily reused or recycled. Being able to eliminate up to 75 percent of the debris and waste from construction from landfills is significant, especially considering that in the U.S. alone, construction debris makes up almost 170 million tons of of waster generated each year, according to the EPA.
Recycling requires planning, but both the immediate and long term benefits are well worth it. In fact, when deconstruction is involved, there can be a wealth of recyclable material that would otherwise be treated as mere disposable debris.
Aside from helping reduce the landfill use in America and being a good corporate citizen, what other benefits come from choosing recycling?
Here are three solid reasons for considering recycling construction waste as opposed to dumping it:
Eliminating of high landfill fees
Reducing costs of removing and hauling
Contributing to the production of lower-cost recycled aggregate products
And aside from the economics of choosing a firm to take your construction debris to a recycling plant, there are a variety of benefits in recycling materials rather than dumping them or burying them in a landfill.
Waste concrete is a great example. The benefits of recycling concrete include:
- Keeping concrete debris out of landfills saves landfill space
- Using recycled material as gravel reduces the need for gravel mining
- Using recycled concrete as the base material for roadways reduces the pollution involved in trucking material
Keep in mind that construction debris is made up of everything from concrete and flooring tiles to fixtures, windows and doors. Loose or broken materials like wood, metal, bricks and glass are included, along with the trees, stumps and earth collected from clearing a site.
The good news is that you can recycle most C&D materials including concrete, porcelain, rigid plastics, tile, lumber, metals, masonry, plastic, rock, carpet, insulation and more. The limitations on what can actually be recycled at your local facilities may vary, however.
Being Strategic With Deconstruction
Having a recycling strategy when you have a demolition project can help tremendously. Approaching the task as a "deconstruction" project will allow you to recover a vast majority of the materials removed. This matters since statistics show that the demolition of buildings in the United States alone generates almost 85,000,000 tons of debris each year.
It’s estimated that one year’s amount of building debris could create a wall almost 30 feet high and 30 feet thick around the entire coast of the continental United States. It makes sense to keep much of this reusable building material out of landfills consequently.
When recycled and reused, deconstructed materials reduces the need for raw materials in new building projects. In addition to helping the environment, deconstruction can also generate revenue for you since many of the materials you donate can translate into a tax write-off.
Get Expert Help With Construction Debris Recycling
Part of the beauty of outsourcing the pick up and disposing of your construction waste is the convenience. But, just as important, is the very real impact that having your debris recycled and reused.
Junk King provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly construction waste disposal service so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of the debris after your project is complete.
Whether you need our services several times during a construction project or just once after it is complete, our hauling professionals will ensure that the construction debris is out of your way so that you can get on with the job.
Our team specializes in construction debris removal. We can be at your facility in mere minutes, so call us today! Our crew is fully insured and well-trained, so you can trust them to get rid of your unwanted items in a professional and courteous fashion.
One of the best things about hiring Junk King is that we do recycle much of the material we pick-up. This is proof of our commitment to being an eco-friendly removal service. If you have questions about what we do or what we believe, give us a call at 1-888-888-JUNK (5865).