Construction Demolition Recycling Saves Money and Preserves Natural Resources


Recycling building materials saves money and natural resources by diverting them away from landfills. It also educates workers on which materials should be kept for reuse and which should simply be thrown out. Find the best Demolition Dripping Springs.

Most C& D waste finds new uses; however, some materials, like asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls, and lead, are federally regulated constituents that must be appropriately managed. To learn more, visit the EPA’s Harmful Constituents and Residential Deconstruction webpage.


Within construction demolition recycling, salvage refers to efforts undertaken to reclaim or reuse materials generated during deconstruction projects. This reduces landfill waste while conserving natural resources and saving costs through reduced disposal fees and tax incentives.

The amount of salvageable C&M material depends on both the project type and the method employed to generate waste. Traditional demolition practices generate an unorganized mass from which salvageable components may be complex to extract, while meticulous deconstruction methods often produce clean materials suitable for reuse or recycling.

Demolition projects that involve significant quantities of wood can yield numerous products, from mulch and composite lumber to repurposed timber for new structures. A similar process applies to projects using interior building materials like drywall or ceiling tiles – producing recycled products like gypsum wallboard and ceiling tiles as recycled outputs.

Designers and architects should incorporate design for disassembly into their plans to increase the chances of salvaging repurposable materials, and contractors can maximize this potential through on-site source separation and advanced waste management strategies such as WasteWorks’ video on Structure Tone’s success with on-site source separation; see WasteWorks’ video about Structure Tone using one such machine to recycle asphalt, brick, and concrete (ABC). Onsite source separation also helps C&D processors achieve higher levels of sorting and quality control than ever before.


Reusing salvaged building materials can reduce waste disposal costs while simultaneously helping preserve natural resources such as trees, oil, and minerals and lowering transportation emissions. Reusing materials also helps preserve our planet by decreasing demand for new construction, which helps ensure sustainable environments; recycling can save production costs while increasing profits for construction companies.

Deconstruction and design for reuse are both effective means of recovering salvaged building materials during demolition, with deconstruction allowing maximum material recovery, while the design for reuse incorporates salvaged components into new building designs. While deconstruction may be more cost-effective than simple demolition, this solution may not always be practical, depending on the scope and size of a project.

Reusing concrete, masonry, and metal materials such as steel, copper, and brass for new buildings or infrastructure projects is another possibility for reuse. Asphalt can also be recycled into new aggregate and pavement, whereas rubble is transformed into aggregate for roadbeds or pavement re-use; asphalt/rubble recycling creates new aggregate/paving solutions, while metals such as steel/copper/brass can be reused in construction of new buildings/infrastructure projects while wood can be turned into engineered wood products, mulch/compost or thermal energy production sources reusing as renewable resources reusing as thermal energy source!

Many cities offer reuse outlets that purchase usable building materials from construction and demolition projects for reuse in local homes or businesses. These stores stock materials like drywall, ceiling tiles, insulation, and wood. To find your nearest reuse outlet, talk with neighbors who recently completed home or commercial projects, consult directories published by state and county governments or reuse companies, or search your phone book under recyclers or used building materials.


Recyclable materials such as concrete, wood, drywall, metals, asphalt bricks, and bitumen can make up the majority of building construction debris generated during renovation projects and can significantly lower landfill fees and overall construction costs. Recovering and recycling this valuable resource from demolition debris and using it on another project can also dramatically reduce overall construction costs and landfill fees.

Recycling C&D waste provides multiple environmental advantages, from reducing air pollution to conserving finite natural resources to creating employment and economic activity in local communities where salvaged materials are processed for reuse or recycling. Recycling also saves energy by decreasing demand for new materials as well as disposal and transportation fees, leading to energy conservation and cost savings.

Source reduction measures can be employed during both design and planning phases to systematically sort C&D materials to fit into the existing system of recycling or reuse, as well as during deconstruction or selective demolition methods to cut waste materials. For more information about this approach, please see Best Practices for Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Construction and Demolition Materials – an indispensable guidebook of techniques that promote reduction, reusing, and recycling for construction demolition materials.

Contractors should take steps beyond source reduction measures to ensure their recycling providers are trustworthy, using appropriate techniques and equipment to recycle construction & and demolition material in accordance with local regulations. It is essential to verify that they weigh all material picked up or shipped out for reporting purposes and separate metal and other recyclables from waste material before contracting them to take care of C&D waste recycling.


Reducing construction waste generation and reusing it as much as possible is one way to relieve landfill pressures and conserve raw materials, save on disposal costs, as well as conserve energy that would have gone towards manufacturing new materials.

Traditional demolition produces a dense pile of rubble from which reusing materials is complex, while deconstruction often results in greater material reuse due to how structures are dismantled and separated into components – especially beneficial when it comes to projects containing high-value salvage materials such as electronics or lumber. Deconstruction also presents less of an equipment footprint issue when working in dense urban environments than with traditional demolition machinery.

Asphalt, concrete, wood, gypsum wallboard, and metals can all be recycled. However, to do so successfully on construction or demolition sites, they must be correctly separated at source-separation points; otherwise, it could become impossible or very challenging to recycle them later on.

Select a recycler that provides this service, inquire as to the materials they can recycle, and whether or not they handle mixed C&D debris. Inquire also as to their method for tracking their diversion percentage; weight tracking may work well in monitoring extensive facilities, but it does not provide accurate tracking per job.