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Construction & Demolition Recycling

Construction and Demolition (C&D) debris represents a significant portion of the waste stream in the RethinkWaste communities. C&D materials include lumber, cardboard, metals, masonry (brick, concrete, etc.), carpet, plastic, pipe (plastic, metal, and clay), drywall, rocks, dirt, and plant materials. 

Consequently, RethinkWaste works with Member Agencies to develop C&D recycling recommendations, which can include policies, ordinances, and assistance provided to contractors at permit counters. C&D debris recycling policies or ordinances implemented at our Member Agencies typically include the following components:

  • Recycling C&D debris
  • Reusing materials
  • Deconstructing projects for reuse
  • Specifying material types and quantities to meet the ordinance
  • Reporting diversion results
  • Penalizing noncompliant parties

While often required by ordinance, recycling C&D materials benefits contractors and developers by reducing the amount of waste sent to the landfill, thus, potentially saving money on disposal costs. Compliance with the C&D recycling requirements are typically monitored by the local Planning or Building Department of each city. 

Recycling C&D materials is one component of a more holistic practice often called “sustainable” or “green” building. Sustainable building techniques include using recycled materials, designing a structure in a way that requires less material, incorporating natural light, adding photovoltaic (solar) systems, and other features to reduce energy and water consumption.


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