Construction & Demolition Debris - Builders/Contractors
Why reduce, reuse, repurpose or recycle construction and demolition (C&D) debris?
Responsible C&D debris management can result in the recovery of a considerable amount of material with both environmental and economic benefits.
The benefits may include:
• Conserving resources;
• Reducing waste;
• Lowering disposal costs;
• Reusing material on site or future project;
• Eliminating unnecessary expenses for new material;
• Earning revenue from the sale of recovered material; and
• Being more competitive on job bids.
What are items that can be recovered? The list 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.
Builders/contractors can recover this material by employing best management practices and other actions. Here are tools to assist.
• The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides information on the best management practices.
• DHEC offers “How to build a successful job site C&D debris recycling plan”.
• South Carolina has more than 80 C&D debris recyclers throughout the state.
• Additional resources can be found here.
The first step in the sustainable management of material is prevention.
Here are a few prevention recommendations:
• Re-evaluate estimates of material needed to ensure the correct amount.
• Buy material that is delivered in returnable containers or with minimal/no packaging.
• Ask suppliers to take back or buy back substandard, rejected or unused items.
• Consider buying good quality, previously used building material (e.g., doors, fixtures).
• Monitor storage practices to reduce material loss from weather or other causes.