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Construction and Demolition Recycling in Mecklenburg County
New Construction vs. Demolition and Remodeling


New Construction
Construction is a phased process with similar waste materials generated with each phase. This creates many opportunities for recycling. In addition, the materials have not been painted yet which allows untreated wood and drywall scrap to be recycled. A project manager may reduce waste by only purchasing as much as the project requires and reusing waste materials if possible.

Demolition
The process of demolition yields large amounts of waste, many of which are recyclable or reusable. Other materials have become too contaminated to recycle or too costly to separate. Commercial demolition projects are most likely to justify recycling because buildings are often made of concrete, block and metal which are all highly recyclable.

For single-family home demolition, recycling is limited to asphalt shingles, metal, concrete, brick and block. Drywall is painted and therefore becomes un-recyclable. Unpainted, untreated wood can be found in the interior framing of a house and this material is recyclable. However, it is difficult to deconstruct the interior wood framing in a cost effective manner. Fixtures such as doors, windows, sinks/faucets and cabinets can sometimes be reused or donated.

Commercial and Home Remodeling
Remodeling incorporates both demolition and construction. The opportunities for reuse and recycling are greater in a commercial remodeling project than a home remodel. The reasons include scale and material types used in construction. For example, the framing is more likely to be metal which has a higher value than wood and is therefore more likely to be recovered during the demolition portion of a commercial remodeling project. In addition, commercial projects use more concrete which is heavy, easily recyclable and expensive to dispose.

In home remodeling projects there are fewer opportunities to recycle. The painted drywall and plaster removed are not recyclable and the new construction portion of the project may not produce a volume of materials sufficient to justify transportation costs. However, source separated metals, corrugated cardboard, asphalt shingles, unpainted/untreated wood and drywall scrap, concrete, brick and masonry block are all recyclable in the greater Charlotte area.

For both commercial and home remodeling, you can reuse or donate cabinets, doors, toilets, sinks, faucets, and appliances.


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