Construction & Demolition Debris - Builders/Contractors


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;
•    Doors;
•    Energy-efficient windows;
•    Hardwood flooring;
•    Stone or solid-surface countertops
•    Lighting fixtures;
•    Furniture;
•    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.