Construction and demolition (C&D) materials account for almost 22 percent of the waste stream. Many of these materials can be reused or recycled, thus prolonging our supply of natural resources and potentially saving money in the process.
Common Construction and demolition materials include lumber, metals, drywall, masonry (brick, concrete, etc.), carpet, plastic, pipe, paper, cardboard, rocks, dirt, or green waste related to land development. Of these, metals are the most commonly recycled material while lumber makes up the majority of debris that still goes to a landfill.
Construction waste recycling is the separation and recycling of recoverable waste materials generated during construction and remodeling. Some materials can be recycled directly into the same product for re-use. Others can be reconstituted into other usable products. Unfortunately, recycling that requires reprocessing is not usually economically feasible unless a facility using recycled resources is located near the material source. The most important step for recycling of construction waste is on-site separation. Initially, this will take some extra effort and training of construction personnel. Once separation habits are established, on-site separation can be done at little or no additional cost.