Demolishing a building produces a high volume of debris. In 2018, the EPA estimated that over 600 million tons of debris was produced from construction and demolition projects.
But these materials don’t need to go to waste. By reusing them, we can preserve the environment and get further use out of existing resources.
Examples of construction and demolition debris include:
Construction and demolition debris (or C&D) cannot be disposed of at a typical landfill; this is due to the sheer size and quantity of the materials. Instead, debris can be salvaged and used in future projects. Here’s how C&D debris is recycled and reused:
Salvaging Construction & Demolition Debris
C&D debris is unique from other types of waste removal; many of the materials can be reused in future projects. By simply disposing of the debris, this potential is wasted.
During the project, contractors will separate any reusable debris from what will be disposed of. Even if you cannot find another use for the material, it may be possible to recycle it.
The benefits of reusing materials include:
- Save on costs. Purchasing recycled or salvaged materials is a great way to lower your expenses on a construction project. You can bring your costs down without compromising on quality.
- Avoid overfilling landfills. Not all landfills accept C&D debris at their facility. Even if they do, these materials take up a significant amount of space within the landfill. We only have so much room to store waste materials at these sites; by reusing C&B debris, we can reduce our contributions to landfills.
- Protect resources. Reusing and recycling C&D debris makes contracting projects more environmentally friendly. It takes a great deal of resources and labor to produce new materials. By salvaging debris, we can avoid using up natural resources, and/or emitting fossil fuels to process them.
Can Hazardous Materials Be Reused?
Not all materials found at a construction or demolition site are considered C&D debris. Hazardous waste materials such as chemicals, fuel tanks, or batteries are not classified as C&D debris.
If the debris is found to contain any toxic materials, it will be deemed contaminated and therefore unable to reuse. These include materials like chemically-treated wood, lead paint, and asbestos. Hazardous materials will need to be disposed of at a designated facility, rather than recycled or stored at a landfill.
Ways To Reuse Salvaged Materials
Metal products are often recycled and reused to make new products like building materials or automobile parts. In some cases, the original material (such as concrete) can be amalgamated with other debris and reformulated into aggregate concrete.
Wood from framing or flooring can be remade into furniture. If the wood is from a historical building, it may be possible to preserve its unique qualities for the new product. Sometimes, doors or windows can be used entirely as they are.
Are you looking for construction or demolition contractors in CT? At Bella Contracting, we have two decades of experience in the C&D industry. We’re always willing to take on jobs big or small. Contact us today to get a quote for your next project.