According to the Construction Materials Recycling Association, construction and demolition waste are the largest sources of trash in the United States. The association says 325 million tons of recoverable construction debris is generated in the U.S. each year.
In the past, all that metal, concrete, wood, block and asphalt would have ended up in a landfill. The key to a successful deconstruction project is to reuse what you can and sell or recycle the rest.
While not every bit of construction and demolition debris can -- or even should -- be recycled, much of what goes into a house can be reused. Deconstruction is the process of tearing down a house while salvaging and recycling building materials. It is initially more expensive and time consuming than outright demolition, but is far better for the environment and can let you make a buck as well.
In deconstructing a building, ask your contractor to salvage (for reuse, donation or sale) whatever materials he can instead of taking the debris to a local landfill. At the very least you can give them to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore building materials recycling
center, which will come and pick them up—and give you a tax
deductible receipt for your donation. It's a win-win-win. You get a tax write off, your contractor gets a smaller waste-hauling bill and other homeowners in your area get affordable building materials. Or make a few bucks by selling reusable items on Craig’s List. Otherwise, dumpster divers will take the items off your hands anyway!
The top construction items reused and recycled are wood, drywall, metal (steel, aluminum, copper), asphalt shingles & pavement, glass,landscape waste, appliances and concrete debris.
Common items worth salvaging for donation or resale include:
Reusing and recycling these items saves energy and decreases
consumption in the long run.
20+ years of residential experience.