WSU team Jose Becerra, David Drake and Jacob Sauer (l-r) display brick they have made from drywall construction waste.
Building construction and demolition waste is a growing problem in the United States. In 2014, contractors disposed of 534 million tons of waste, a tripling since 2003. Drywall, also known as gypsum board or sheetrock, is a ubiquitous interior wall covering that is cost effective but wasteful to install. Building a 2,000 square-foot home generates more than a ton of drywall scrap.
Source: New building system using construction waste explored | WSU Insider | Washington State University
Image credit: Till Krech/Wikimedia Commons
The WEF claims that less than a third of all construction and demolition waste is recovered and reused, resulting in billions of tonnes of materials being wasted. In the United States, about 40 percent of solid waste derives from construction and demolition.“Such waste involves a significant loss of valuable minerals, metals and organic materials,” wrote the WEF’s Keith Beene. “With such quantities involved, even small improvements in the way the construction industry works will have significant impacts on sustainability.”
Source: WEF Report Outlines 30 Steps to a Circular Construction Industry | Sustainable Brands
“With our tool, from the design stage of the building we want to look at the deconstruction plan. We want to look ahead to 20 or 30 or 50 years’ time at the end of the building’s life. It’s about looking at the deconstruction plan now rather than when the building is being demolished,” he added.
The research project has been named DRIM (Deconstruction and Recovery Information Modelling). It will be worked on for two years from April 2016 in collaboration with academics from Coventry University and industry partners Waste Plan Solutions Ltd and Sustainable Direction Ltd.
via UK University Project to Cut C&D Waste Through Design for Reuse & Recycling « Waste Management World.
“Why don’t you take that garbage and put it in your backyard,” one resident shouted at Bellefontaine.
Kiann Management wants to rezone 38-acres of land along Highway 7 and use it to sort and recycle construction and demolition waste.
via Hundreds show up to public meeting over proposed waste site in Lake Echo – Halifax | Globalnews.ca.
Above: Construction waste is segregated and stockpiled for re-use on other sites
Current figures show that the UK recycles more of its construction and demolition (C&D) waste than most other EU countries. Some projects have recorded landfill diversion rates of more than 90% while the overall average rate in 2012 was a respectable 66.4%. That average rate is predicted to increase to 75.5% by 2020. An optimistic estimate, maybe, but still in line with the Waste Framework Directive which set a 2020 recycling rate target of 70% (by weight) for re-use, recycling and other recovery of C&D waste.
via Waste not, want not.
The Seattle City Council adopted a goal for recycling 70 percent of construction waste by 2020 — the driving force behind the new requirements. We are confident this is achievable.
via Seattle DJC.com local business news and data – Environment – Seattle is clamping down on waste from construction and demolition.
Photo by Staff File Photo/Times Free Press.
Using hydraulic compression, the Chattanooga company’s technology aims to take discarded demolition and construction material and turn it into interlocking building blocks.
“They stack up like Legos,” said David White, RamRock’s co-founder and CEO.
via Why your next home may be made from industrial waste | Business – Around the Region | Times Free Press.
Many of the problems that have prevented waste reduction in the C&D sector have little to do with the reuse or recyclability of the material being thrown away. In fact, StatsCan released a report in 2008 which noted that 75% of material sent to landfill still had valuable life left in it.
via It’s time to tackle construction and demolition waste on Environmental XPRT.
Craig Moore of the Ontario Association of Demolition Contractors OADC says for their part, materials sent to landfill are missed opportunities to cash in since jobs are bid with scrap in mind and both contractors and owners are well aware of the value of metals and other high demand materials.
via Daily Commercial News – Ontario struggles to divert construction waste.
The world is slowly finding itself without the resources that it needs, and therefore the construction materials that are being used need to be reduced to help the environmental impact. Rather than send all of the leftover materials, as well as materials that are from the demolition and excavation process, as well as the construction process, this industry is turning towards recycling the reusable materials.
via Sustainablog | Jeff McIntire-Strasburg has been blogging a greener world via sustainablog since 2003!.
CEW said that it is implementing the latest technology to carry out the project, including photography drones (pictured) and design modelling.
A drone from Cardiff-based Heli-Eye is being used at various points throughout the project to easily and quickly capture aerial images, whilst Arup and Gillard Associates will be using BIM modelling to look at how design changes might affect reductions in waste.
via New Project Uses Drones to Cut Construction Waste & Increase Reuse & Recycling in Wales – Waste Management World.
The primary way this occurred, according to attorney David Anton, involved misclassifying demolition and construction waste. Under state law, ground up raw construction material that is labeled as “fines” can legally be used to cover up the top of a landfill – in order to prevent pests, fires, and odors, for example. When construction waste is ground up and used this way, it counts as “alternative daily cover” – like a layer of frosting on a giant cake of garbage – and strangely enough, the state allows waste disposal companies to count that frosting as “diverted waste” even though it’s actually part of the landfill.
The lawsuit claimed that Recology tried to count a great many tons of its construction and demolition waste as “fines” when in reality it should have been labeled just plain garbage, because the tons of stuff that they were shipping to the Solano County landfill wasn’t being processed to a fine enough grade to comply with state requirements for what constitutes “fines.”
via Jury finds Recology cheated in waste diversion bonus program | SF Politics.
Deconstruction is Policy Already Written
by Sara Badiali
Reclaiming materials affects the economy by creating jobs, job training, and markets for materials. It cuts down on the need for harvesting new materials like timber, and removes the need for landfill space. Reclaiming materials reduces co2 emissions. The benefits are often called a triple bottom line economy by creating jobs, markets, and sustainable environmental practices.
Municipalities across the country are working on creating and implementing policy addressing the practice of recycling buildings. Creating ordinances that can be implemented and enforced are prompting a wave of interest in emulating European laws that have been in place for years.
One way of creating effective change is to have policies implemented by government agencies first. Mandating that all government buildings be deconstructed for salvage is an effective strategy for long term adoption from the public. If our tax money goes into creating these buildings, then it should also go back into the local economy when the building has expired.
The arduous task of navigating government bureaucracy to create a new policy adopting deconstruction for municipal buildings, has impeded progress in this arena in even the most progressive governments. However, all governments already have existing policy and just don’t realize it.
Continue reading Deconstruction is Policy Already Written – by Sara Badiali
Photo: Jay Young, The Evansville Courier & Press via Associated Press
Deconstruction is new to the Twin Cities, and one Minneapolis social enterprise called Better Futures Minnesota is leading the charge. It offers work crews for hire to provide deconstruction services, property maintenance, appliance recycling, groundskeeping and more. But off the clock, the men who work at Better Futures also get help with housing, healing and recovery, and personal coaching — helping these formerly incarcerated or homeless men turn their lives around.
A demolition boom is upon us, and we have a choice as a community. Demolish and send it to the dump, or deconstruct for less money, less waste and more green jobs.
via Green demolition can create jobs for those in need | Star Tribune.
Interesting and informative article on C&D landfill regulations (or lack-thereof).
With little direction from the federal government, each state regulates construction and demolition debris fills a little differently.
Alaska, unlike some in the Lower 48, requires no liners or test wells of fill operators. Central Recycling Services, the company proposing debris fills for Chugiak and Palmer, doesn’t plan to line them but does plan to do wells.
Construction and demolition debris fills here fall under the category of “inert monofill” — what regulators consider a uniform kind of waste with “a low potential” to pollute air or water.
via Often it’s up to landfill owners to report problems | State News | ADN.com.
What looks like a giant pile of rubble outside the Shangri-La Hotel in downtown Vancouver is actually an art installation by Chinese art collective MadeIn Company titled Calm. All is not as it seems. Pass by in a hurry and you’ll hardly notice this giant pile of broken cement blocks, grass, and construction waste, but stand next to it for just a moment and you’ll notice something almost imperceptible: the entire pile of rubble is moving, slightly undulating atop a giant hidden reservoir of water.
Calm’s ambiguity and unexpected ability to move provoke us to question ways of observing, believing and understanding facts, and remind us that the truth often differs from what it seems. In this context, Calm comments on the concerns that arise alongside urban development and the gentrification of residential neighbourhoods, whether in Vancouver or Shanghai. While the volume of construction in Vancouver might pale in comparison and scale to that of Shanghai, there are currently several retail and residential expansions underway within a five-kilometre radius of Offsite.
via Calm: A Field of Liquid Construction Debris on the Streets of Vancouver by MadeIn Company | Colossal.
“When you’re in the zone, when you’re out working, even if there’s something that’s perfectly good, you just want to get the job done, and you throw it away,” he said.
Now he’s come up with a way to address what he sees as a serious waste of resources, by integrating his construction expertise and his environmental focus. He’s currently laying the groundwork for a new business, Alaska ReUse, a repurposing store and deconstruction service provider. He plans to open on Shaune Drive in Lemon Creek later this summer. The new business will take usable waste and project overflow from building contractors and others, providing them with a green alternative to the landfill, while offering builders and homeowners a place to acquire materials and supplies.
Donig, a specialty contractor and owner of Authentic Woodworking, said the construction companies he’s talked to so far have been very enthusiastic.
via JUNEAU, Alaska: Juneau man plans repurposing store | Business | ADN.com.
The Mid-America Regional Council Solid Waste Management District has opened grant applications for waste reduction, reuse and recycling projects. Local governments, businesses, nonprofits, schools and individuals are eligible to apply. Projects must be located within the Solid Waste Management District, which includes Clay County.
via MARC opens recycling project grant – LibertyTribune.com : County & Northland News.
METRO VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Metro Vancouver’s waste committee says too much junk from construction sites goes to the dump.
More than 20 per cent of what ended up in the landfill last year was demolition waste; it worked out to 307,000 tonnes in 2011. Surrey City Councillor Marvin Hunt tells us they’re looking at a few ways to fix the problem.
“In getting the demolition permit, should it be part of the demolition permit itself that you say how you’re going to recycle? Where are these materials going to go to?” he wonders.
“We have our building permits to build in the first place. How are we building the building so that [it] in fact can be recycled at the end of its use?” he adds.
The committee wants to get cities on-board before introducing such by-laws.
via Metro Van trying to cut down on demolition waste at landfill – News1130.
Every year, an estimated 8 million to 9 million tons of construction and demolition waste is dumped in Tennessee.
Tennessee is the leading landfill state in America. We are the only state to count landfilled construction waste as “recycled.” Construction waste is the easiest waste to recycle; yet, this loophole increased construction-waste landfills from 12 in 1994 to 80 today.
Multinational landfill companies extract $1.4 billion annually from our state to collect, process, haul and landfill solid waste at a cost of $160 a ton; $1.4 billion is nearly the total budget of Metro Nashville. Solid waste is transported 12 million miles a year to landfills in Tennessee.
Continue reading Reducing waste sent to landfills would add jobs | The Tennessean | tennessean.com
Housing construction and demolition waste account for 40 percent of what’s going into landfills. Nathan Benjamin and Willow Lundgren want to shrink it to 30 percent by 2020.
PlanetReuse consults with architects, contractors, and building owners and sells technology to reuse centers to rescue materials during demolition and find homes for reclaimed materials in new projects.
“Perfectly usable materials are buried,” says Benjamin. “Our aim is for owners to think ‘used’ before ‘new,’ and to make reuse the obvious alternative to landfill.” —KK
via America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs 2012 – For Profit, for Good – Businessweek.
Waste generation in 2010 increased by 48% compared to the previous year, mainly due to a sharp increase in construction waste, a Mepa Environmental Indicators report issued today shows.
The report says that construction and demolition waste had increased after having declined by 70% between 2008 and 2009. Municipal waste declined by 10 percentage point to 17.2% while hazardous waste declined from 4.8% to 2.5%.
Mepa chairman Austin Walker said the increase in construction waste stemmed from a spike in building permits in previous years. He said the amount of waste which was was being recycled had increased from 4% in 2009 to 7.7% in 2010.
The Environmental indicators also show that last year the number of permits issued for housing units declined from a high of 11,000 in 2007 to just 3,995 last year.
Continue reading Environmental Indicators show sharp increase in construction waste – timesofmalta.com