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 can include:
- bricks, concrete, rock and other masonry material;
- non-hazardous painted, treated and coated wood;
- plumbing fixtures; and
- doors, windows and furniture.
Managing C&D debris is a significant issue. It is estimated that C&D debris comprised nearly 29 percent (2.6 million tons) of all of the waste disposed of in South Carolina in fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019).
Most C&D debris, however, can be reused or recycled – reducing waste, conserving resources and saving money. Contractors can save money through avoided disposal fees, reselling material or reusing it on future projects. Homeowners may be able to qualify for a tax benefit when recovered material is donated to qualified non-profits.
Proper management of C&D debris
Builders and contractors can help divert C&D debris from disposal through best management practices such as source reduction, salvaging, reuse and recycling. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides detailed information on these practices.
Residents are encouraged to discuss with their contractor on how any waste will be managed before the building or remodeling begins. If it is a do-it-yourself project, residents can check with their county recycling coordinator to see what options are available.
If disposed of, C&D debris is required to be sent to either Class 2 (C&D debris) or Class 3 (municipal solid waste) landfills. If recycled, the S.C. Recycling Markets Directory provides a list of registered companies in South Carolina that recover C&D debris.
Landowners should never allow or use C&D debris – including concrete – on their property to fill a ravine or gully without checking with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control for permitting requirements. If improperly managed, landowner may be subject to a fine.