Construction & Demolition Recycling

Construction, renovation, and demolition sites across the country are increasingly incorporating waste diversion efforts. Commitments to C&D recycling is one of the top methods for supporting a sustainable build. Recycling generates usable materials at a lesser financial and environmental cost. It’s estimated that for every 2,000 square feet of construction, there are 8,000 pounds of construction waste. For certain jobs, LEED points are awarded for construction recycling – one point for 50% recycling rate and two points for a 75% or more recycling rate.

Construction waste recycling is the recovery of waste materials that are generated on a construction or remodeling site. The majority of construction waste goes to landfills, but skyrocketing waste costs and growing sustainability initiatives are pushing forward the agenda to recover materials. Here’s an overview of what’s entailed in developing a plan for recycling construction materials.

Planning Construction Site Waste Management
The initial step in a construction waste reduction strategy is good planning. Design should be based on standard sizes, and materials should be ordered accurately. Additionally, using high-quality materials such as engineered products reduces recycling rejection. This high-quality product approach can reduce the amount of material necessary to be recycled and bolster profitability and economy for the builder and customer.

The first measure of order is to conduct a waste audit, whether your team is qualified to execute it or you outsource a goal-oriented waste consultant. Tasks include collecting information on management decisions, learning what materials are sourced, and finally developing policies that reach supply chain and waste management.

According to a Department of Interior’s Building study, the most significant barrier to construction and demolition waste (CDW) was the lack of clear and mandatory waste management and recovery requirements. Stakeholders are increasingly interested in sustainable practices as a staple for improving margins, but when it comes to the plan, it requires effective implementation that often isn’t a strong suit.

The most important step for recycling construction waste is on-site separation. Initially, this will take some extra effort and training of construction personnel. Once separation protocols are established, a system of on-site separation can be successfully achieved.

Construction Recycling
Some materials can be recycled directly into the same product for reuse, and others can be reconstituted into other usable products. Recycling that requires reprocessing can be managed using local resources by a waste management company with an extensive network. Many construction waste materials that are still usable can be donated to non-profit organizations, which keep the material out of the landfill and supports a good cause.

What construction materials can be recycled?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 90- 95% of all waste materials from a construction site can be recycled. Recycling construction materials has many environmental benefits, saving energy and taking the pressure off of landfills by diverting waste. Packaging, new material scraps, old materials, including debris, all constitute potentially recoverable materials.

Recyclable construction materials include:

  • Asphalt
  • Concrete
  • Metals
  • Wood
  • Glass
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Gypsum
  • Masonry
  • Plastics

Other common construction items often found in a dumpster that can also be recovered, resold, reused, or recycled include:

  • Appliances
  • Fixtures
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Roofing materials
  • Old or broken tools

More companies have the need and find use in recycled construction site “waste” for new projects. Planning ahead and finding where to recycle while staying in compliance will end up saving on costs while receiving an environmental green star that makes your company look relevant as green construction continues to unfold into commonplace.

How can construction and demolition waste be reused?
The more ways we implement closing the loop on construction waste, the more profits can be enjoyed, especially by avoiding rising disposal costs.

Having the right waste management service provider that understands the demands of construction site material waste and local needs can bridge the gap of wasted materials. Here’s an overview of how items can be repurposed:

  • Melt and reuse metals in different forms for new metal products
  • Converting wood or lumber to biomass fuel, mulch, re-milled, and put back to use in construction for plywood, flooring, molding, and more
  • Cardboard and paper used for pulping
  • Windows and roofing can be reused again
  • Broken down and recycled concrete can be used for driveways
  • Crush and recycle asphalt paving can be made into new asphalt for roads and more

Construction recycling near me
The National Waste Associates team is always a phone call away from diving into our extensive construction recycling network and working with you to handle your construction and demolition recycling needs.

We handle all construction waste management needs across multiple job sites and states. Whether you’re working on one large-scale project or multiple projects across the nation, we handle full scope needs, including developing a schedule for the deliveries and paying the bills for our construction clients.

Would you like our experts to evaluate opportunities for recycling
on your construction and demolition sites?
Leverage the NWA team to help increase construction waste diversion and
lower waste costs. See the difference and get back to business with genuinely
effective construction and demolition recycling programs.
Call us at 1-888-692-5005 x6 today or
email us at

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