Renovation, Construction & Demolition Waste Is Filling Landfills Faster Than You Think

Thinking about renovating your kitchen? Is it time to replace your old deck? Do you need to replace your roof?
As you’re planning your next home improvement project, don’t forget to create a plan (or ask your contractor about their plan) for disposing of old cabinets, flooring or doors. According to the EPA, construction and demolition materials continue to be a significant waste stream in the United States and around the world. New reports show that construction and demolition waste (C&D waste) is on the rise in Australia, with C&D waste outweighing municipal waste for 2016-2017.

Whether you’re a homeowner getting ready to gut your bathroom or you work in the construction or demolition industry, it’s important to be aware of the impacts of C&D waste and why you should consider deconstruction, salvage, reuse and recycling. In fact, many of the materials from homes – including pipes, bricks, metals, wood, doors and carpet – can be given a second life. Here are some facts that might surprise you about the volume of C&D waste entering and impacting our landfills.

• According to the EPA, 548 million tons of C&D debris was generated in the United States in 2015—more than twice the amount of generated municipal solid waste.
• Demolition represents more than 90 percent of total C&D debris generation, while construction represents less than 10 percent.
• Demolition of an average American home is equivalent to a lifetime’s worth of waste for an individual.

With the Grand Rapids Remodeling & New Homes Show happening this weekend, we encourage you to think about ways to reduce and reuse construction and demolition waste. So the next time you think about kicking your old kitchen cabinets to the curb, consider taking them to a Habitat ReStore or visiting our Recycle & Disposal Guide for tips on disposing of C&D waste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Were you wondering what the answer was to the question we had posted at the Show?

It’s 15% – Michigan recycles, on average, 15% of our waste. Let’s resolve to do better!