Construction debris can have a second life apart from simply ending up in a landfill. The possibilities for old building materials are numerous, and so are the benefits to the planet.
It’s always a good practice to keep any material out of the landfill, if possible, and there are a number of good reasons for construction debris recycling. For example, a wide variety of waste materials can be effectively re-used and re-purposed.
Construction Debris Recycling: Building Green
As a contractor, have you ever wondered how much actual debris and waste is produced on your job sites? Or have you ever wondered how much of that material could actually be reused somewhere, somehow?
The truth is, in a typical residential remodel, for example, almost 75% of the debris can be recycled. Which means that construction waste disposal does not automatically mean a trip to the dump!
Recycling Provides Options for Construction Debris
How much waste is typically produced on a construction project? A breakdown of the average C&D (Construction & Demolition) types of debris would look like this:
- 6 % Residential construction
- 3% Non-residential construction
- 11% Residential demolition
- 39% Non-residential demolition
- 22% Residential renovation
- 19% Non-residential renovation
Almost 40 percent of the overall C&D waste generated in the U.S. comes from non-residential, or commercial, demolition. This is probably not a surprise to contractors. What might be surprising, however, is that 22 percent of debris comes from the smaller residential renovations. This is particularly significant in light of the fact that a great deal of construction waste and debris can be recycled.
Construction Debris Recycling Pays
There is a viable market for much of the waste and debris that gets generated at a typical job site. If we look at another breakdown of waste, this time a typical renovation or remodel, we find that 75 percent of the "waste"often wasted by going into a landfill can be recycled:
- 3% Metals
- 5% Masonry
- 8% Drywall
- 9% Architectural elements
- 20% Cardboard
- 30% Wood
This leaves only about 25 percent of the materials produced that cannot be effectively reused or recycled. Imagine being able to eliminate up to 75 percent of the solid waste from construction firms out from the landfills. Especially in light of the fact that in the U.S. alone, construction accounts for almost 170 million tons of debris each year, according to the EPA.
Being Strategic With Recycling Construction Debris
Recycling requires some advance planning, but the benefits - both immediate and long term - are well worth it. Much of what comes off of a construction site can be reused. In fact, when deconstruction on a site is involved, there can be a wealth of recyclable material that would otherwise be treated as mere disposable debris.
Three main reasons why contractors should consider construction waste recycling as opposed to simple disposal:
Reduced costs of removing and hauling
Elimination of high landfill fees
Contributes 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
Construction debris can be anything from concrete and flooring tiles to fixtures and doors. Other materials like wood, metal, bricks and glass also count. Even the trees, stumps and earth collected from clearing a site falls into this category of waste.
You can recycle most common C&D materials including concrete, porcelain, rigid plastics, tile, lumber, metals, masonry, plastic, rock, carpet, insulation and more. What can actually be recycled at your local facilities may vary depending on location.
Using Deconstruction as a Recycling Strategy
Deconstruction refers to carefully dismantling pieces of a home or building in order to salvage valuable building materials. Statistics show that the demolition of buildings in the United States produces almost 125,000,000 tons of debris each year.
Commonly deconstructed items include doors, windows, flooring, ceiling tile, counter tops, cabinets, light and plumbing fixtures, molding, joint fixtures, roofing, blinds and shades.
There are many environmental benefits to deconstruction. Building debris accounts for one-third of the solid waste in the United States.
It’s estimated that one year’s amount of building debris is enough to build a wall about 30 feet high and 30 feet thick around the entire coast of the continental United States. Keeping much of this reusable building material out of landfills makes a significant impact.
Since deconstructed materials are recycled and reused, the need for raw materials in new building projects is also decreased. In addition to being great for the environment, deconstruction can also mean cash in your pocket since many of the materials you donate can translate into a tax write-off.
However, getting it off-site and hauled away is still a potentially costly and time-consuming proposition if you choose to do it yourself.
Expert Help for Your 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. California is one of the leading states in the processing and reuse of concrete and other waste building materials, and Sonoma County contractors are a big part of that movement.
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 (707) 744-4254.