The process of deconstruction, i.e., demolishing a house while recycling and salvaging building materials despite being a time consuming and expensive affair compared to outright demolition is much healthier for the environment. Workers during the process of deconstructing a building save and make use of the materials instead of accumulating the debris in a local landfill. In the past everything from metal, wood, concrete, asphalt and block ended in a landfill. But the key for a successful destruction project is undoubtedly to reuse whatever is possible and recycling the rest. Every portion of demolition debris and construction cannot or should not be recycled but a major section of materials which goes into the making of a house can easily be reused. Here are 7 things which need to be recycled at the construction sites namely wood and lumber, steel, asphalt, glass and windows, appliances, copper and landscaping waste.
1) Wood and Lumber
Each year over 1 million homes are built by contractors in The United States which costs approximately $100 billion. A major percentage of money is often spent on wood which is used for multiple purposes like framing, doors, sheathing, windows and floors. This wood used is mostly virgin timber. Government of US has estimated that approximately 1 billion board-feet of lumber can be saved each year. Majority of the wood used here is of high quality which comprises of large timber frames. Builders can reuse and recycle all the wood which will not only help to generate reusable lumber but also save trees. Recycling will also help to cut down the amount of wood which takes up the landfill space. Wood can be reused by workers and builders in several ways. Reused wood can be used for constructing new fences and barns as well as for building new floors, doors, panelling and windows.
Steel is often used by developers for building superstructures of bridges, skyscrapers, high-rise apartment buildings, among other structures. Steel can be recycled and recycled steel maintain their durability and strength. Each steel frame contains approximately 28% of recycled steel. Trusses, pilings and steel girders from construction sites can all be reused.
Every year builders use asphalt for building highways, residential neighbourhood roads, parking lots and airport runways. Construction crews each year remove asphalt of about 90 million tons from American roads as has been estimated by the Federal Highway Administration. Out of the total 90 million tons more than 90% of asphalt is recycled and then reused for reconstruction projects as well as for repaving.
4) Glass and Windows
Recycling old windows as well as other glass product is a good thing. But builders hardly do it as firstly it is cheap and secondly glass manufacturers have very specific requirements and recycled glass often does not fit into the provision of these products. Window glass comprises of several parts namely aluminium, insulating spacers, lamination layers and vinyl which have to be removed prior to the recycling of the window. Removing these parts is both expensive and very time consuming.
If oneâs construction project deals with major kitchen renovation or addition, and homeowners decide to buy new appliances then a couple of old things can be recycled and reused. Appliances which are still working can be donated to organizations like Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity and Salvation Army. These appliances can also be recycled at a nearby recycling center. Obsolete appliances as well as appliances which no longer work can be sent to a recycling factory.
Copper plays a significant role and is a sought-after metal. Almost every home contains approximately 400 pounds copper wiring and piping. Copper recycling market is so productive that often thieves break into the construction sites for stealing copper wire and piping. Copper too like steel retains its durability and strength after being recycled. However, there are several local codes that need new building materials. Copper wire and pipe cannot be recycled and used in electric installations and plumbing as a result of which it is more often stored and sold to scrap-metal dealers and junkyards for being utilized elsewhere.
7) Landscaping waste
Recycling landscape waste must become a significant part of oneâs building plan while removing vegetation or trees and cutting brush from the backyard for making a room in their new house. Contractors these days pretty much need to recycle or reuse the waste following the ban on landscape waste from the landfills as laid down by a couple of communities and states. Contractors can utilize these landscape wastes as landscape accent as well as to cut down weed growth. Most landscape waste can be used by homeowners for replanting vegetation like hostas, rosebushes and hydrangeas.
Apart from the above mentioned things there are few other things too that can be recycled and reused at construction sites like drywall, roofing shingles, concrete and masonry among others.