Tag Archives: dumping fees

Deconstruct instead of destroy? Salvaging materials before demolition might save money – Utica, NY – The Observer-Dispatch, Utica, New York

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Gene Allen, marketing director with the City of Utica, looks at the ventilation on the roof of the old Cornhill Senior Day Center as one of the buildings the city is looking at deconstructing, June 5, 2012 in Utica, N.Y.

UTICA —

The former Cornhill Senior Center likely won’t be saved.

The roof is beyond repair and mold abounds in the 1924 structure, which originally was a theater and later a Jewish temple before it became a senior center.

But the cost of demolition for the city-owned building at James and Neilson streets is estimated at around $300,000 – most of it to pay for dumping the remains into a landfill.

That big price tag is one of the reasons a variety of local agencies are moving toward a deconstruction program in which buildings are dismantled carefully and their materials resold.

If the building is deconstructed instead of demolished, the estimated total cost would be about $100,000 after the materials are sold, said Gene Allen, marketing director for the Utica Urban Renewal Agency.

Landfills charge by weight and type of material, Allen said. Deconstruction leads to much less material going into the landfill while making up some of that money through the resale process.

That projected savings, along with the environmental benefits of keeping usable materials out of landfills and the possibility of selling reused materials, has local officials enthused about deconstruction.

“A lot of buildings have been torn down, and a lot of materials have been wasted,” said Ray Durso Jr., executive director of the Genesis Group. “I think it’s a great project for the entire area.”

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Recycling Building Materials – Continuing Education, Sustainability, Recycling, Adaptive Reuse – Architect Magazine

As W.B. Yeats could have put it, ours is no country for old buildings. Each year, countless aging and outdated structures are dispatched by our $4 billion demolition industry. Even the recent economic retrenchment has hardly altered the nation’s out-with-the-old, in-with-the-new mind-set. In 2010 alone, an estimated 104 million tons of materials flowed in from project sites all over the country, accounting for as much as 40 percent of the U.S.’s annual solid-waste stream. The garbage comprises not only rubble and rotting beams, but also countless odds and ends from new construction such as cast-off nails and packaging. So whether they’re putting something up or taking something down, architects are indirectly making a mess.

What happens to buildings that we’ve replaced? The general procedure for clearing a site has remained more or less consistent for decades: Client contracts with architect, architect contracts with general contractor, who hires a demolition firm that turns refuse over to hauling company, and hauling company drops it off at the dump. Salvageable building parts, such as floorboards, tile, and windows, that could be pulled from the wreckage are often not, since few people know who might buy them and for how much, or where to stow them in the meantime. Likewise, taking the recycling route—in which materials are broken down into their constituent parts, reprocessed, and resold as new and, most likely, different products—could introduce a swarm of logistical challenges that builders have little incentive to pursue, particularly with so many cheap landfills nearby. As a result, with the exception of scrap metal, structural materials such as concrete (which can be recycled) often end up in the trash as well.

A Rebirth in Recycling

We are moving away from the status quo of how we handle our construction and demolition waste for many reasons. Dumping has become more expensive and thus less appealing for contractors and clients, says William Turley, executive director of the Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA), a national umbrella organization based in Eola, Ill., that represents 245 waste-management companies that give a second life to concrete, wood, and steel. Compared to Europe, which recycles an estimated 46 percent of its construction and demolition waste, the U.S. recycles at a rate of 30 percent. “Landfill prices [here] are still very low, but they’re getting higher,” Turley says.

Continue reading Recycling Building Materials – Continuing Education, Sustainability, Recycling, Adaptive Reuse – Architect Magazine