Construction & Demolition Debris
Construction and demolition (C&D) debris is non-hazardous solid waste generated during the construction, remodeling, repair or demolition of homes, buildings, roads and bridges. C&D debris includes:
• Kitchen cabinets and sinks;
• Bathroom sinks, vanities, tubs and toilets;
• Energy-efficient windows;
• Hardwood flooring;
• Stone or solid-surface countertops
• Lighting fixtures;
• Non-hazardous painted, treated and coated wood;
• Gypsum wallboard;
• Working, newer appliances;
• Bricks, concrete, rock and other masonry material; and
• Landscape material.
C&D debris comprises a significant waste stream. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about 600 million tons of C&D debris was generated nationwide in 2018 – more than twice the total amount of municipal solid waste created. Given that amount, some states and municipalities have implemented mandatory recovery requirements for C&D debris.
In South Carolina, more than 3.6 million tons of C&D debris was disposed of in fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020) – accounting for more than 38 percent of the total solid waste thrown away in the state.
Most C&D debris, however, can be diverted from disposal and converted into productive uses. The environmental and economic benefits include:
• Reducing waste;
• Avoiding extraction of raw material;
• Conserving resources;
• Saving landfill space;
• Helping create local jobs;
• Supporting local markets and businesses;
• Earning revenue from the sale of salvaged material; and
• Saving money.
Proper Management of C&D Debris
Builders/contractors and residents can reduce C&D debris disposal through best management practices such as source reduction, salvaging, reuse and recycling. Learn more below:
The sustainable management of C&D debris helps all stakeholders save money. Builders/contractors can reduce costs through avoided disposal fees and/or not having to buy additional material. Homeowners may be able to lower building or renovation costs as well as qualify for a tax benefit when recovered material is donated to qualified 501(c)(3) non-profits.
Builders/contractors and residents should be aware of the required management of asbestos-containing material. Learn more here.
C&D Debris on Personal Property
Homeowners never should allow or use C&D debris – including concrete – on their property to fill a ravine or gully without checking with DHEC for permitting requirements. If improperly managed, the landowner may be subject to a fine.
Secure Vehicle Loads
Builders/contractors and residents are required by law to secure all loads of material to prevent any from escaping the vehicle. Learn more here.