Construction and Demolition Waste

According to the article Measuring Urban Sustainability, Alberti emphasizes the way cities are managed and how we recognize urban patterns affecting the environment are keys to global sustainability. Chicago for example has implemented many environmental regulations. One of these is the recycling of construction and demolition (C&D) debris promoted by the Department of Public Health. The separation and recycling of C&D debris helps reduce disposal fees for contractors and property owners and also protects the environment from contaminated or dangerous waste materials. Construction and demolition debris takes up about 30% of solid waste being deposited in landfills and by recycling C&D, less landfill space is used up.

The purpose of the recycling of construction and demolition debris is to reduce the amount of debris being generated and also to recycle and return C&D materials that weren’t used to the economy. This regulation was implemented because the Cook County Board of Commissioners recognized that waste materials from construction and demolition sites made up a large part of the landfills and that most of the debris could be recycled. The recycling of construction and demolition waste has definitely been productive. Each year in the United States, about 500,000 tons of C&D waste are being recycled. Contractors and businesses are also saving money by recycling or reselling unused waste materials instead of paying for the disposal fee.



One thought on “Construction and Demolition Waste

  1. Good topic, not something that is often brought up. Do you know if they also have a policy/system in place to deconstruct buildings as much as possible? Items such as light fixtures and vintage sinks/tubs are sometimes removed from homes to be resold to designers looking for period pieces. I would think the same thing could be done in larger commercial buildings as well.


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