Approximately 40 percent of waste in landfills comes from construction projects. This is problematic for a number of reasons. First, the majority of construction waste can be reused and throwing it into a landfill is a waste of valuable resources. Second, recycling and reusing construction waste can save you money and even help you recoup some of your costs in certain situations. If you would like to reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfills, here are two tips for recycling construction waste.
Have Onsite Collection Points
There are many places where you can take your recyclables. Salvage yards will buy most any metal you have available (e.g. pipes, beams), for instance, and cardboard and plastics are typically processed by the local waste management facility. However, to make it easier for you and your workers, it's best to have onside collection points for recyclables and contract with a local company to pick up the items on a regular basis.
For example, you can rent a few roll-off dumpster designated for collecting concrete, wood, and brick and have a local recycling organization pick up the items at a set time each week. This makes it easier for your employees to stick to the company's recycling goals and you won't have to waste time carting the items to the recycling facilities yourself.
In fact, some charities will also come and pick up old furniture, cabinets, and appliances they can refurbish and resell or use for their own charitable projects. If you give items away to a non-profit organization, be sure to get a receipt for the value so you can write the donation off your taxes.
Aim for Deconstruction Rather than Demolition
Another thing you can do is try to deconstruct buildings rather than demolish them. Deconstruction—manually taking a building apart—has many benefits, the primary one being you minimize damage to useful components. Carefully pulling up the hardwood floor in the kitchen can provide you with wood you can reuse for door frames or other construction projects.
Reusing materials saves you money because that's less you must order from your supplier. Additionally, people are—conversely—willing to pay more for buildings made using some recycled materials, partly because of a sense of social responsibility and partly for the bragging rights.
If you're not sure how to perform deconstruction, there are many organizations that will teach you how to do it. For instance, the US Green Building Council offers a class on deconstruction as part of its LEED training program. Do a search online or ask others in your industry for more information about available deconstruction training.
For more tips on recycling construction waste or to rent dumpsters to help you sort recyclable materials, contact a local dumpster rental company.