Our Upcoming Events
Why & How to Optimize C&D Recycling
Builders, architects, engineers, property owners and others will find details to better understand the C&D Recycling ordinance and make the most of their efforts. This information should be helpful even for projects not affected by the Ordinance.
- The Challenge
- The Solution
- Potential Recycling & Savings
- How to Reach Your Goals
- Good Communication
- Source Separation
Debris from C&D projects makes up nearly 25% of the waste from Oakland that ends up in landfills every year. Much of this debris is reusable or recyclable. Reuse, salvage and recycling conserve limited natural resources and landfill space, reduce pollution of land, air and water, and keep millions of pounds of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.
Architects, engineers, designers, builders, demolition contractors, project managers and property owners are all part of the solution to reducing C&D debris, waste and pollution. Most debris typically discarded from C&D projects can be readily recycled or reused.
With careful consideration:
- Design professionals can design projects to generate less waste, and
- Contractors can use clear contract specifications, and good planning and staging on the jobsite to reach high levels of recycling.
Potential Recycling & Savings
Planning for reuse, salvage and recycling at the front end of your project can significantly reduce material handling and overall waste disposal costs (e.g., disposal fees). The following example compares recycling and disposal costs for materials generated during construction of a typical 2000 square foot new single family home on flat ground. (Negative costs indicate scrap value of materials.)
Typical 2000 sf single family residence
Potential Savings from Recycling: $597.56
RECYCLING can save money, keep valuable natural resources out of landfills, help prevent pollution and reduce global warming impacts.
It's safe to bet that you know how to apply savings like this! You might upgrade tile, carpet and other finishes. What about buying lunch for all the players who made that recycling rate happen?
Effective recycling doesn't take rocket science, but it does take planning and team effort.
How to Reach Your Goals
Here are some pointers that will help you meet or exceed your goals for jobsite recycling.
Clear communication with staff, sub-contractors and vendors is critical in making a jobsite recycling program successful. If the players don’t know the rules, how can they be expected to succeed? Here are some tips for keeping your staff and subcontractors informed:
- Include Salvage and Recycling as an ongoing subject at project meetings. Discussing these topics regularly helps keep everyone aware of the progress and challenges.
- Include your Salvage and Recycling Plan with bid documents and include specifications to help subcontractors properly plan for compliance. Conveying the goals in contracts with subs and vendors will go a long way toward making your recycling program a success. Sample contract language is available for consideration.
- A key feature of successful jobsite recycling is Source Separation. Keeping recyclable and salvageable materials separated from other discards at the source, will maximize your recycling rate. This might require behavior changes on the part of some crew members, while others may already understand the value of reducing waste because it is part of their efficient use of materials.
- Practicing Source Separation is an extension of techniques you may already use to keep labor and material costs down through efficient use of materials. During framing, for example, lumber cut offs are the most common scrap. When the framers cut lumber and toss the scrap into a pile with other wood scraps, they are practicing Source Separation. Returning to this wood-only pile for blocking or other reuse increases efficient use of materials. If those cut offs are in a dumpster with other debris, who is going to reuse them?
- Source separation starts at the beginning of the job with good planning.
Positive reinforcement works wonders!
• Remember to reinforce good behavior when you see it. On your next job, the crew might reach an even bigger goal.
Find out how builders are saving resources, time and money, review these case studies.