Why Demolition Contractors Should Value Repurposing Materials

Contractor with salvaged pipe

Recycling has long been an integral part of the demolition industry. Through an effective recycling program, demolition projects can attain a significantly smaller environmental footprint, and both the contractor and building owner can recoup some of their expenses.Recycling is far from the only environmentally friendly practice a demolition contractor engages in, even if it is the most talked about. There's also the reuse of materials. Reusing materials typically involves finding a secondary market for intact materials. For example, an old forklift is sold and is used as a forklift on a less demanding worksite. Or, building materials are sold and used as is in a new structure. When materials are reused, there's no need for reconditioning or other recycling processes because they'll be used the same way in their next life.One form of reuse is repurposing. Like other reusable materials, repurposed materials don't require any additional work to prepare them for their secondary market. In the examples used above, those same building materials could be repurposed in an art installation in a local park, or as stepping stones.There are so many available materials in a typical demolition project, and such a variety, that many of those materials can be repurposed if looked at with a creative and critical eye. But repurposing in demolition isn't just a one-way street.Some of the tools and equipment used by demolition contractors in their projects may have been repurposed from a different use. For example, a firefighter's hoses have made a second appearance in demolition work being used in low-pressure applications for dust suppression. Or,  if those hoses aren't capable of carrying water anymore, they can be used as protective sleeves for chains, cables, and wires.Repurposing also typically generates better compensation than recycling. Steel pipe salvaged from a demolition site is often sold off as scrap to a recycling facility without much thought. However, that same steel pipe could be repurposed and fetch a better price. It's often found again on farms and ranches being used as livestock pens.In some cases, the state and quality of the materials will dictate whether they're a good fit for recycling or reuse. Smaller pieces and those with more wear and tear may have to be recycled. In many cases, breaking down materials into smaller pieces requires more labor, however. That gives reuse and repurposing the advantage because larger pieces and less on-site work is better.At Demolition Technologies, we pride ourselves on our commitment to the environment. That includes recycling and reusing materials from our demolition projects. Not only do we look to find buyers for repurposed materials, but we also use some of those repurposed materials ourselves to save on equipment and project costs. That results in less waste and a more affordable project price for our clients.To learn more about our processes and capabilities, contact us at 918-379-0966.