Throughout the city demolition and construction are prevalent just about everywhere you turn. With this ongoing destruction and creation of materials, the waste product has to be handled efficiently and in sustainable manner. The city of Chicago charges the Department of Public Health with the responsibility and promotion of responsible separation and recycling of of construction and demolition debris (City of Chicago).
This debris includes:
The purpose of recycling these materials is to cut costs and to try to minimize the negative affects on the environment. How do contracting companies save through reusing the material? The obvious way is by selling or not having to purchase as much material for future projects. The secondary method is by avoiding disposal fees. The debris from construction and demolition accounts for 30% of solid waste products that would normally end up in landfills. This policy was meant to reduce the waste product going out to these landfills.
This method of recycling has been productive and beneficial to the city. The annual recycling rate of recyclable debris is at about 85% and translates into 500,000 tons of recycled material a year (City Of Chicago).
With the amount of construction and demolition going on daily in the city, this policy has greatly negated some of the negative impacts and waste that Chicago produces.