Construction and demolition, or C&D, has not seen a slowdown in the U.S. for most of the last decade and continues to generate tons of waste and debris.
Unfortunately, while most of the by-products of construction waste is reusable or recyclable, we still send far too much C&D waste into landfills.
Construction and Demolition Generates Tons of Waste and Debris
As every contractor knows, construction produces quite a bit of trash, debris, and waste material from cut-offs, unused martials, and a vast number of other reasons.
And that's just during the course of new construction.
Demolition, which is often part of many construction projects, produces far more waste and debris and in exponential amounts. In fact, according to some statistics, demolition represents more than 90 precent of the total amount of C&D debris generated, while construction represents less than 10 percent.
So, how much are we talking about really?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it's estimated that 600 million tons of C&D debris were generated in the United States in 2018. This is more than twice the amount of generated municipal solid waste in the country that year.
And what did we do with all of that?
In 2018, 76 percent of all C&D waste was recovered or recycled, and that's good news. That means that just over 455 million tons of C&D debris were recycled or reused, while just under 145 million tons were sent to landfills.
But the downside is that we still are dumping millions of tons of potentially recyclable or reusable waste and debris into our rapidly diminishing landfills.
Which is one of the reasons why Junk King specializes in construction waste and debris removal.
Taking a Look at Construction and Demolition Waste Disposal in the U.S.
While construction of all types continues to move forward at a healthy pace in the U.S., it is the housing market that is driving a great deal of new residential construction. And this, of course, results in millions of piles of waste and debris at building sites all over the nation.
Add to that the waste generated from the myriad of commercial construction that is occurring in states everywhere in the U.S. and you have millions of tons of debris that is being moved and dumped elsewhere.
We've created an illustrated "snapshot" of the state of construction and demolition waste disposal and recycling to help give a sense of the enormity of both the problematic issues and the potential for recycling progress for the industry.
Share this Image On Your Site
Ensuring Maximum C&D Waste Reuse and Recycling
When it comes to reuse and recycling of waste materials from construction sites, the two biggest categories for waste are concrete and masonry, and wood debris. But the good news is that both of these by-products of construction and demolition are almost 100 percent reusable.
For example, here are some of the ways these waste materials are recycled or reused:
- Crushed concrete and brick used in road construction and drainage
- Concrete, block, and masonry debris used as borrow pit fill
- Concrete truck washout used to make onsite containing walls and bins
- Remanufacture of wood chips into engineered woods
- Wood fuels used in co-generation plants and industrial boilers
- Horticultural mulches made from natural woody material
- Decorative mulches made from construction debris wood
- Wood chips used as bulking agent in bio-solids and compost
Concrete debris makes up the largest segment of construction waste material produced, but it also has the widest variety of potential uses.
An article in The Balance/Small Business noted that,
There is a range of environmental and economic benefits in recycling concrete rather than dumping it or burying it in a landfill. These advantages include:
- Reduced tippage and related freight charges
- Cheaper source of aggregate than newly mined
- Reduction of landfill space required for concrete debris
- Using recycled material as gravel reduces the need for gravel mining
- Increasingly, high-grade aggregate for road construction is available only at greater distances, increasing the associated economic and environmental cost impacts associated with the longer haulage distances versus using recycled aggregate
In addition to concrete rubble and similar masonry and brick debris, wood waste is another large component of construction and demolition debris.
As another article noted,
Wood waste is the second-largest component of construction and demolition (C&D) debris after concrete. It contributes 20 percent to 30 percent of the building-related C&D total. Overall, wood accounts for around 10 percent of all material deposited in landfills annually.
And some of the markets for recycled wood include:
- Landscaping mulch
- Pet bedding material
- Boiler fuel
- Composite board products
- Press wood pallets
- Heating stove pellets
Th bottom line for contractors and others working with construction and demolition projects is that the waste and debris that accumulates on the job site does not have to all end up in a local landfill.
There are far better and eco-friendly alternatives.
Your Local Choice for Construction Junk Removal: Junk King
Construction site clean-up and debris removal doesn't have to be “part of the job” for contractors when they have an expert team that can do it for them.
So, when your current construction project requires waste and debris removal, call Junk King!
Our teams specialize in construction junk removal.
We can be at your job site in mere minutes, so call us today! Our crews are fully insured, bonded, and well-trained, so you can trust us to remove all your construction debris professionally and efficiently.
And one of the best things about hiring Junk King is that we recycle a much of the material we pick-up. This is proof of our commitment to being an eco-friendly removal service.
It's easy to make an appointment - just give us a call at 1-888-888-JUNK (5865).