Below provides practical information for reuse and recycling of construction and demolition (C&D) debris generated during construction and deconstruction projects.
Why recycle and prevent waste?
Efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle construction waste can save money, keep job sites cleaner and safer and save landfill space. It is also the law for materials like cardboard, which is banned from the landfill by the Broome County Charter and Code.
What’s your role?
Property owners, property managers and developers
As a property owner, property manager or developer, you are in a position to create a successful waste reduction program for a project. It begins with making waste reduction a priority from the start of the project and planning for it throughout all phases of deconstruction, design, construction, installation, and habitation. It involves setting specific waste reduction goals for each project and assembling a team experienced in environmentally sound design and construction practices. All goals and requirements for experience should be included in requests for proposals and other contract documents. Identify materials that can be salvaged and reused. The progress of waste reduction efforts can be monitored by requiring contractors to submit waste management plans and monthly waste reduction reports. Locations to collect and store recyclables on-site should also be identified.
Designers and contract specification writers
These individuals can influence the process by supporting waste reduction efforts and by working with owners and developers to identify cost and public relation benefits associated with specific practices, methods or products. Clear, detailed requirements, listed plans and specifications for waste prevention, salvage, deconstruction and recycling have been the most effective way to guarantee a successful waste reduction program.
Construction project manager
The construction project manager plans and implements the waste reduction program. Therefore, it is important to have a waste management plan and effectively communicate the expectations of the plan to the crew and subcontractors involved in the project. The plan should include ways to prevent waste, options for salvage and reuse, and materials to be recycled on the project, including materials subcontractors will be responsible for recycling.
How can you prevent costly waste?
Preventing the generation of waste by reusing materials onsite and reducing packaging decrease the quantity of material you need to use and pay for. By identifying potential waste early in the design you can decrease the amount of waste generated during construction and see a cost savings.
Waste prevention ideas
- Develop and set waste prevention goals and include them in contract specifications.
- Require specific waste prevention activities including reuse and salvage practices.
- Specify green building materials such as certified wood or low VOC paint.
- Choose flexible interior finishes or materials, such as carpet tiles, that can be easily removed and recycled and replaced when worn or damaged.
- Communicate your waste prevention plan at meetings, post it at the job site, monitor the program, and promote the results.
- Require vendors to ship materials to the job site in recyclable or reusable packaging.
- Re-evaluate estimating procedures to make sure the correct amount of each material is obtained.
- Ask suppliers to deliver supplies using returnable pallets and containers. Have them pick up the empty containers when delivering new ones. Also require the supplier to take back or buy back any unused items.
How to salvage and reuse building materials
There may be materials that have a greater value “as is” for salvage compared to their value as material for recycling. Some of these materials may be valuable to reuse on-site; others may be donated or sold to a used building material retailer or charitable organization (see below). These activities cut waste and reduce purchasing costs, and sometimes may bring in significant revenue or provide a tax benefit.
Reusable building materials
Brick and block
Lumber and timbers
Mouldings and millwork
Plumbing and lighting fixtures
What to recycle?
Recycling construction materials will save money by cutting disposal costs. It will reduce waste going to the landfill, create a cleaner and safer construction site, and boost community relations. Below is a list of materials that can be recycled. It is important to locate a recycling or reuse outlet prior to the start of the project.
Cardboard & paper
Plastics- numbered containers, bags & sheeting
Recycling and waste minimization guidelines
- Cardboard and Paper
- Avoid excessive packaged materials and supplies
- Separate cardboard and store in a dry place. See below for list of local cardboard and paper recyclers.
- Plastic and Vinyl
- Minimize waste of vinyl siding, flooring and countertop materials by ordering only quantities needed.
- Excess materials may be used by the local Habitat for Humanity or the Broome County Eco Center.
- Paints, Stains, Solvents and Sealants
- Donate unused portions to Habitat for Humanity.
- Save unused portions for touch up or other jobs
- Any unused materials should be properly disposed of at a hazardous waste collection facility.
- Technology does exist, although it is not available in the Broome County area. It can be recycled into new products such as gypsum stucco, textured wall sprays, fire barriers or agricultural products.
- Large pieces of dry wall may be donated to the local Habitat for Humanity or diverted to the Broome County Eco Center.
- Metals and Appliances
- Separate metal radiators, grates, aluminum siding, copper piping, wire and flashing, iron and steel banding from bundles, rebar and old appliances for recycling.
- Refrigerators and air conditioners contain Freon and must be handled separately. If brought to the Broome County Landfill all doors must be removed and there is a $10.00 fee per unit.
- Cabinets, light fixtures, bathtubs, sinks mortar mix, nails, screws, plumbing fittings and various other supplies may be accepted by the Broome County Eco Center.
- Old batteries from power tools can be recycled at various store locations or at the Broome County hazardous waste facility.
- Trees and branches from brush clearing can be chipped to use as mulch or brought to one of the local facilities to be composted.
- Any materials containing asbestos such as older pipe insulation, asphalt floor tiles and old linoleum.
- Petroleum contaminated soils
- Wood that’s been pressure treated or creosote treated timber.
Select a waste and recycling hauler
- When choosing a hauler be sure to ask for a container for general debris, one for cardboard and one for scrap metal.
- What size containers do they offer?
- What is the charge to service the container?
- Do charges include a container rental fee?
- What materials are acceptable?
The below listing is for information purposes only. It is not an all inclusive list and it does not constitute an endorsement or approval by the County, or provide any assurances with regard to the quality of services provided. Please refer to the yellow pages for a full listing.
PO Box 2827
For additional information or assistance
Contact the Division of Solid Waste at 607-778-2250.