Creating sustainable waste solutions for your company has become the primary concern of consumers. The demand for alternative options for resourcing is crucial to providing a strategy that will work toward sustainable management with C & D (construction and demolition) project waste.
The C & D materials are common after a demolition or when structures are renovated and consist of matter such as:
● Doors, windows, fixtures
● Gypsum and drywall
Over 600 million tons of debris were generated in 2018, with demolition representing more than 90%. 455 million were sent for reuse, but over 145 million ended up in landfills.
Thankfully, with the long list of items, there are ways to reuse these materials into new uses such as fuel, products, aggregate, or compost for long-term waste solutions.
What Benefits Are There to Disposal Reduction?
Companies are implementing new strategies to start working more sustainably and can lead to a creation of great rewards.
Here are just a few of the benefits:
● Increased business opportunities for the community, mainly where demolition and deconstruction methods are utilized by increasing economic activities and employment within the recycling industries.
● Lowering the company's cost for expenses by avoiding extra purchases and disposal funds. In addition, the donation of recovered materials to charities can help offer tax benefits.
● Utilizing onsite reuse can reduce overall transportation costs for the business.
● Fewer disposal facilities will be required, which can lead to a reduction in ecological issues.
● The transition can create less impact on consuming natural resources.
There will be a need for less landfill space, decreasing the impact of the natural environment and the outside effects landfills have on the surrounding area.
Methods Your Company Can Apply for More Sustainable Practices
The term reduce, reuse, recycle has now had a fourth added, which is rebuy. There are multiple ways that you can prevent the construction and demolition materials from reaching landfills.
In addition, applying environmentally sustainable methods to help source ways to salvage and reuse the materials can also be implemented into your plan.
Here are some things to consider as you start to develop a plan of action:
● A primary factor to consider is how you can begin sourcing ways to reduce the number of materials you are using and the waste you are producing.
● Educate yourself and your company on what it means to deconstruct and how those materials can be salvaged to be reused in projects later.
● Understanding how the materials can be recycled and finding companies that can offer this service to you.
● Take the time to research the environmental, economic, and aesthetic benefits your company can gain by utilizing recycled projects and buying used materials.
Navigating Source Reduction With the Materials
The EPA has explicitly placed the highest priority on solid waste issues and ways to address them. The concept of source reduction helps with combatting energy use and the generation of construction and demolition materials. Recycling and reusing are also sustainable methods that help with waste management once it has been produced.
Some measures for source reduction can include:
● Working to keep builders currently in place instead of building new ones.
● Analyzing and optimizing how large a new building will be.
● Moving forward with designs that make buildings more adaptable to longer lives with functional purposes.
● Permitting disassembly and facilitation in the reuse of materials during construction.
● A plan to utilize alternative techniques for framing or reducing interior finishes.
Combined with these suggestions, a change in the design of the building and how the materials and systems are built will be highly beneficial. The plan also needs to involve implementing a reduction in excess material and packaging brought to the construction site through the purchase agreement.
Reusing and Salvaging
The way that demolishing existing buildings and then the waste disposal is being done is not an efficient system. Even with the utilization of recovery, there are still materials that could be implemented in future projects or recycled more efficiently. The dismantling of the buildings with the intention of reuse and recycling can be applied on different levels, which can help cut down on waste.
There are many positive aspects to this, including:
● Less demolition waste placed in a landfill.
● Reusing helps to preserve extra resources that can save the company money.
● Material recovery is maximized through this process.
● Creates conservation for resources such as old-growth forests.
● Creates job opportunities and employment for workers.
● Helps communities to create economic activities around the reprocessing and manufacturing of the debris.
What Are the Materials to Reuse?
One significant component of reusing the materials is saving on resources and energy by avoiding the production of new material. Here is a list of standard materials and how to utilize them.
● Items to salvage for donation and rebuild other jobs are hardware like doors, fixtures, appliances.
● Scrap wood can be used, chipped, and applied as a mulch, and cut-offs can be used for lintels or cripple to prevent cutting a total length of lumber.
● Gypsum can be reused as a soil amendment.
● Any masonry or brick can be used to help with driveway beddings and work as a subbase material.
● Exterior wall insulation can be utilized as a noise deadening material for interior walls.
● Old paints can be used in areas of a home like a garage or a supplement as a primer.
● Returning packing materials to suppliers for them to reuse is also beneficial.
In addition to all these suggestions, it's essential to find the markets that will help with the recycling process. Rubble and concrete can be converted into new concrete or aggregate and re-engineered into mulch or compost. Metals are valuable to recycle, and cardboard has multiple markets that can utilize it.
LJP Waste Solutions: Working to Streamline a Personalized System
It is imperative to make creating a sustainable practice part of your company's daily routine with waste disposal. LJP Waste Solutions works to recycle and reuse materials to help cut back on waste from construction projects to reach a zero-landfill goal. We cater to large manufacturing plants but are happy to work with smaller companies if you would like to create sustainable plans for your business.
If you are interested in learning more, contact us or give us a call at 507-625-1968.