Reusing Materials from Building Demolitions

An industry we’d love to see grow is recycling materials from demolished buildings. In the past the ROI on sorting and recycling demo materials hasn’t made sense/cents but now that LEED certification can help the bottom line of a public building, more organizations are doing what they can to recycle their tear downs.
Jetson Green shared this example of elementary school demolition where they will be recycling at least 75 percent of the waste.

It’s the latest high-profile example of how Maine builders, eager to reduce costs and meet green building standards, are keeping more construction and demolition debris out of landfills and incinerators.
“It’s gotten to the point now where it’s lucrative to do this,” said Scott Tompkins, director of business development for Ledgewood Construction of South Portland, general contractor for the new school.
Ledgewood’s subcontractors are making use of all kinds of demolition debris, from the concrete that will be crushed into gravel to tree stumps that were ground up and used for erosion control on the site.
The lumber and other wastes – insulation, glass, plastics – will be trucked up to Lewiston, where the wood is sorted out and sold as fuel for large wood-powered mills. The remaining mixed wastes are sent to a landfill because they have no value, Bennett said.

We hope it also becomes more cost effective for residential demolitions to do the same.
[via Press Herald]

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Timothy Dahl

Timothy Dahl

Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.