Recycling, Reuse and Disposal On Demolition Sites

Waste bags

In most areas, construction waste takes up a quarter or more of the local landfill. This debris exceeds 130-million tons each year and transportation and disposal costs are rising and taking up more of a project's budget. Along with environmental concerns, these issues prompt a focused effort to recycle and reuse more materials. Here's a list, sourced directly from the EPA, of what's typically found on demolition sites and what can be recycled or reused and what needs to be disposed of.
  •  Recycling
Most commonly, heavy materials like concrete and steel make up the bulk of the recycling efforts on a demolition site. These materials can either be taken to local recycling outlets, or, with our capabilities, can be recycled on-site to minimize transportation costs. In addition the these materials, there are many other recycling options. C&D debris can often be taken to local industry to use as road base. Clean drywall can be taken to local processing facilities. Many suppliers will even accept salvage and scraps when they're in good condition.
  • Reuse
Unlike recycling, which involves processing and changing the nature of the original materials, reuse is much simpler. Certain items can be salvaged on a job site and immediately reused on another job site with no additional work needed. Doors, hardware, appliances and fixtures are commonly salvaged from one-site and reused elsewhere. Brick, concrete and masonry can be reused if it's in good shape, or recycled as fill and sub-base material. Insulation is also a good candidate for reuse. Even paint can be remixed and used again.
  • Disposal
While many materials qualify for recycling or reuse, hazardous materials must be properly disposed of. This includes latex paints, adhesives and chemical solvents. Proper training, equipment and handling is required when disposing of these materials. In order to simplify this process, careful planning should take place before a project to avoid a significant excess of materials that must be disposed of. For demolition jobs, carefully assessing a site and planning for the present materials is extremely beneficial. Other materials that were once common in construction but are no longer allowed in new construction also must be disposed of. Lead based paint and asbestos are the most common examples of these.From a 2-thousand square foot residential project, an average of 8-thousand pounds of waste is generated. Proper planning and minimizing the amount of these materials that ends up in a landfill goes a long way.To learn more about our processes and capabilities at Demolition Technologies, contact us at 918-379-0966.