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Recycling Construction And Demolition Waste
Man is constantly finding ways to conserve the environment, and construction and demolition waste (CDW) recycling is one such way that is also profitable. By recycling construction and demolition waste, valuable materials could be produced cost-effectively.
Otherwise, it would just be disposed of, worth nothing, and continually increase the pile of waste at landfills. For this and many other reasons, waste recycling is considered the most innovative way to manage construction and demolition waste. This article deals with construction and demolition waste recycling, the benefits of doing so, and more. Simply read on.
What Is Construction And Demolition Waste?
Construction and demolition waste refers to all kinds of debris derived from construction or demolition sites while the process is going on. Such waste is produced while constructing a new building or structure or when you demolish or renovate an existing one. The waste mainly includes steel, concrete blocks, muck, crushed stones, asphalt blocks, bricks, tiles, batteries, lights, and other construction and demolition materials.
What Are Recycled Building Materials?
Recycled building materials are construction materials or products that have been treated to make new materials having previously been used in another construction. This simply means that the materials are made from construction and demolition waste.
Almost all (Construction and Demolition) CD materials can be repurposed, including brick, timber, steel, windows, tiles, or doors. Some examples of recycled building materials include concrete produced from steel dust or aggregates made by crushing, grinding, mixing, and screening multiple materials.
Even the topsoil excavated while laying the foundation of buildings could be recycled to be used in other projects. This makes recycled building materials cost-effective and eco-friendly substitutes for new materials.
How Much Of CDW Can Be Recycled?
In many developed countries, CDW is produced when a building is demolished, and once recycled, the new materials are used in the construction of new buildings. However, not all construction and demolition waste can be recycled. A small amount of CDW is hazardous to reuse or recycle and must be disposed of carefully.
Hazardous CDW included asbestos, lead, batteries, or fluorescent lights, and some electrical materials. After a demolition, such CDW should be carefully packaged in the correct containers and taken to the dump or collected by a reliable waste collection company.
For recyclable CDW, if processed using the proper recycling equipment, approximately 85% of it could be reused for sand and aggregates, around 10% would be impurities, and the remaining 5% would be made into scrap metal. As per general estimation, around 15% to 20% of municipal waste comes from CDW. So, recycling CDW saves a lot of money for sure.
Waste Management Plan In Construction Sites
If implemented on any construction site, site waste management plans could significantly reduce the amount of waste produced. Therefore, if you are undertaking a construction project or managing one, you could play your part in environmental conservation by ensuring there is a proper plan of how materials and waste will be managed while the project is going on.
Then during the construction process, the plan needs to be updated from time to time to have a record of how materials have been recycled, reused, or disposed of. A site waste management plan is not legally required, but this helps to manage waste in a more effective and eco-friendly manner.
What About Reusing CD Waste?
Reproduction of building materials requires so much energy and resources. So, if you are undertaking construction and there are materials from a demolished structure or previous project that could be reused as is, it will save a noticeable amount for both of those.
The most commonly used construction and demolition materials, which any owner can reuse by themselves, are as follows:
• Items like doors, fixtures, hardware, and appliances could easily be removed from old structures and reused directly.
• Wood cut-offs could be reused for multiple purposes and help to reduce the demand for full-length lumber.
• Crushed or de-papered gypsum.
• Materials like brick or concrete could instantly be reused as driveway bedding or subbase material.
• Packaging materials could be sent back to the suppliers for reuse instead of disposing of them.
Transportation Of CDW For Recycling
Section 47 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act of 1997 stipulates that CDW be transported to a lawfully designated place. The owner could, at any time, be asked to supply information about the CD waste and could be fined if they provide false information, whether knowingly or unknowingly.
Consequently, be intentional about transporting CD waste to the designated place, avoid illegal dumping, and make sure the transporter is licensed in the public register. All construction companies are also legally required to manage their waste under Section 34 of the Environment Operations Act 1997.
Waste Management Council
To ensure minimal environmental and public health risks, local councils provide recycling and disposal services. Most of these councils only collect and dispose of regular household waste from their communities. However, in many developed countries, such local councils also undertake the transportation of construction and demolition waste if they are registered to do so. They even provide community education services about waste management.
What Are The Benefits Of Recycling CDW?
Recycling construction and demolition waste has various benefits that could be categorised as follows:
• Environmental benefits
• Economic benefits
Environmental benefits of recycling CD waste
The environmental benefits of recycling (CD) construction and demolition wastes include:
• Energy savings: Recycling saves a significant amount of production energy and decreases the consumption of natural resources as well.
• Landfill waste reduction: As landfills started filling up long ago, alternative waste management ways are currently in high demand. If all types of waste, including CD waste, are managed creatively, like recycling, there would be less need to transport them to landfills. This would also remarkably minimise the amount of toxic build-up in the environment.
Economic benefits of recycling CD waste
The economic benefits of recycling CDW include:
• Cost savings: Recycling typically costs less than disposal. Also, recycled products are cheaper, and their production cost is a lot less than making materials.
• Green Tick certification: The Green Tick Certified program was started to promote goods and services that have received independent environmental sustainability certification. The most recent international criteria for sustainability, environmental auditing, and advertising are all met by Green Tick.
The most recent advertising authority requirements, in particular, demand that environmental or "green" statements be supported by hard facts, including a life cycle assessment of a product's effects on both the environment and people. As a result, the companies putting an emphasis on recycling gain a competitive edge.
• Recycling CDW would boost the local economy as local sources are the leading suppliers of those products.
• It will cost less to construct or renovate a building if recycled products are used, yet the performance would be as expected.
Some Expert Tips For Recycling CD Waste
• Planning: A proper and precise plan must be made before starting the recycling procedure. You could reach out to Environmental Agencies and other organisations, which are also concerned about the environment to help you recycle your CD waste.
• Understand your municipal area's rules properly: Each municipality area has its own rules regarding waste management and landfills. Read them and try to understand them before you can start your recycling project.
• Use standard dimensions: Using common materials of standard dimensions is advisable while building a new structure. This will reduce the need to cut and resize materials and thus produce less CDW.
• Look for local recycling centres: Transporting construction and demolition waste to recycling centres is a great option. However, it's advisable to always make sure the distance between the construction site and the recycling centre is not too much. Also, carefully learn the rules and regulations of recycling centres before confirming the deal.
• Selective dismantling: You could reduce construction waste by following the selective dismantling method. Some organisations separate construction materials from waste and then use them to construct social housing projects. Therefore, transporting CD wastes to them can be an option.
Go On, Try CD Waste Recycling!
So many building companies are trying to find out ways to be more eco-friendly without compromising the quality of their work. Construction and demolition projects significantly impact the environment, as they lead to resource inefficiency, the emission of vast amounts of carbon, and poor waste management.
If recycled building materials are used, this will notably make construction works a bit more environmentally friendly. Using these materials will decrease your energy use, limit waste production, and minimise carbon emissions. Also, these materials are cheaper. Hopefully, now you know enough about construction and demolition waste recycling.
You probably have also understood the importance of recycling and how much better it is to use recycled products. So, next time try to manage your CD waste with a proper plan and think of eco-friendly solutions for construction or renovation projects. You could also reach out to a reliable skip bin company to undertake the CDW, industrial waste, or any other waste recycling for you.