If you are in the process of demolishing a building project and are in a quandary about what to do during your construction cleanup, ask your demolition experts or contractor about recycling your construction and demolition materials. Not only will it let these materials be reused in other ways, but it will be a tremendous boost to the environment. If you are still unsure about going the route of recycling versus taking your debris to the local landfill, here are a few points for your consideration.
Exactly What Are Construction and Demolition Materials?
Construction and demolition (C&D) materials are all of the building components that can be reused or regenerated as a result of recyclable construction materials being utilized. Some of these include:
- Brick salvage
- Metal salvage
- Lumber salvage
- Concrete salvage
- Building components
- Plastics and more
All of these can be diverted from being disposed of and recycled or reused in productive ways.
Why Is It Important To Recycle C&D Materials?
In 2014, approximately 534 million tons of C&D materials were generated in this country. This number is almost four times the 136 million tons that was generated in 1996, and it is quickly growing. The amount of C&D materials being generated now represents more than twice the amount of trash or municipal waste being generated nationwide annually. Of this number, more than 90% of it was generated by demolition, while less than 10 percent was generated by construction. It is important that this waste be diverted somewhere else beside the landfills and the incinerators. Some of the advantages include:
A Reduction In The Carbon Footprint - The building industry, or more specifically concrete production is one of the largest producers of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the world. It is estimated that the process of producing concrete creates up to 5% of all man-made emissions of CO2. In addition to this, the production process also requires a great amount of energy, which is normally achieved through the combustion of fossil fuels. This is because the process requires the cement or the main ingredient in the concrete to be heated to very high temperatures in order for it to form clinkers, which in turn creates the strength within the concrete.
By recycling your concrete salvage, you allow this material to be reused versus it having to be remade. This usually means that the salvage is pulverized into very small pieces, in which the clinkers are still intact, and this material can then be used alone as a aggregate base in road construction or mixed with new concrete and used in various new building projects.
An Extension Of The Amount Of Landfill Space - In addition to reducing the amount of gases generated, and fossil fuel being used, recycling your construction cleanup helps to reduce the amount of materials that are going into the landfills. Do you realize that many building materials such as your concrete and brick salvage can take up to 100 years to decompose. This means that once it is deposited into the landfill, it is not going anywhere anytime soon.
A Slight Reduction In The Cost Of Your Project - When you recycle your C&D materials from your job site, you will be paid the going rate at the various recycle centers. While this will probably not make you rich, it is better than you having to pay your local landfill to allow you to leave it there. In addition to this, any materials that you are able to use on your next project will reduce the materials you have to purchase.
Check out sites like http://alliancedemolition.net/ and ask your demolition company or your contractor about the benefits of recycling your C&D materials. They will be able to go into even greater details, as well as be able to inform you where these materials can go in your local area.