Construction & Demolition
Every year, construction and demolition (C&D) projects in Vermont generate approximately 50,800 tons of waste material, accounting for 10% of residential waste and 15% of industrial, commercial, and institutional waste*. C&D waste is produced from the construction, repair, and demolition of structures of all sizes--from backyard sheds to large apartment complexes, roads, and bridges. Whether a homeowner or a contractor, your DIY remodeling project or large bid can generate scrap materials such as asphalt, concrete, painted and unpainted wood, metal, and a host of other materials. Most often, these materials can be separated and then recycled or salvaged into useful products or beautiful new structures.
Minimizing the need to dispose of C&D waste not only conserves precious landfill space, but also saves energy and resources. Finding ways to minimize the generation of C&D waste coming from your project, or creatively reusing or recycling as much of it as possible, is a winning strategy.
*View the 2013 Vermont Waste Composition Study, DSM Environmental.
Identifying your project type can help you plan for managing materials on-site.
1. New Construction
Recycling is easiest on new construction
projects. Large quantities of discarded materials, such as lumber,
can be kept separate from disposable wastes. Recycling even one material
may divert the majority of your waste. Keep in mind that the recyclable materials generated on-site will change
during the life of the project. Wood and steel may appear first as
the structural work is done, but corrugated cardboard won't show up
in large quantities until the end of the project when fixtures are
Evaluate the salvage and recycling
opportunities for your remodeling project based on the quantities
of scrap materials that will be produced, and the time necessary to
separate the materials. You may be able to make money, get a tax deduction,
or [at the very least] save on project disposal fees by carefully removing
building components and fixtures for salvage. On the front-end, when you are designing and planning a new look your home, consider shopping around for salvaged materials and fixtures instead of buying new. Reuse building stores carry high-quality salvaged materials that are unique, full of character, and often lower cost than virgin material.
A number of Vermont deconstruction companies and used building materials/salvage stores are available to consult project leaders about deconstruction project inquiries. The project planning process may proceed as follows:
- Experienced salvagers may walk through a building with you to determine what fixtures and materials have value for resale or reuse. Plan to remove these salvageable items as early in the project as possible, and allow time for this on the front end of the schedule.
- The remaining materials can be divided into two categories: those that can be recycled, and those that must be disposed. Consult a local construction & demolition debris hauler, recycling center, or deconstruction service to see which products may be recycled, and plan to have roll-off containers on-site to place the separated materials into.
- Look for salvage opportunities as the project progresses. For example, carpet removal may reveal hardwood flooring that is salvageable. Allow workers to reuse scraps or
make them available through a reuse center.
- Require specifications for reuse
in the bid documents. Specifications could include a requirement to
"salvage reusable materials for resale, for storage for use on
future projects or return reusable items (e.g., pallets or unused
products) to the material suppliers."
- Compare estimates for your demolition
bids to your deconstruction bids. You may also want to consider partial
salvage, such as salvaging the more valuable fixtures and materials
and demolishing the remainder.
Are there any C&D materials that are banned from landfill disposal in Vermont?
Yes. Although there is not a broad landfill ban on all construction & demolition debris, there are specific bans on certain materials that represent a part of the C&D waste stream. The specific materials that are banned have generally come into State law because of the toxicity of the material, or because it represents a significant volume of the C&D waste steam and has a known market for recycling or re-purposing.
Specific materials with a landfill ban are:
- WHITE GOODS
- Includes: refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, ranges, water heaters, dishwashers, and freezers.
- Includes: unused oil and latex paint, paint thinner, paint remover, stains, and varnishes. See PaintCare for Vermont drop-off locations.
- CLEAN WOOD WASTE (by July 1, 2016)
- Includes: trees, untreated wood, and other natural debris such as tree stumps, brush, limbs, root mats, and logs.
- ARCHITECTURAL WASTE (by January 1, 2015)
- Includes: drywall, scrap metal, asphalt shingles, clean wood, plywood, or oriented strand board (OSB). NOTE: These materials are only banned from the landfill under certain project circumstances. See the Architectural Waste Requirements webpage to see if your project qualifies for mandatory recycling or reuse of these materials.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Department of Environmental Conservation
Waste Management & Prevention Division, Solid Waste Program
1 National Life Drive, Davis 1, Montpelier, VT 05620-3704