Construction & Demolition Recycling

Why Recycle and Prevent Waste?

Efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle construction waste can save money, keep job sites cleaner and safer, save landfill space, and boost community relations. It is also the law for recyclable 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

You have the opportunity to create a successful waste reduction program for a project.

  • Make waste reduction a priority with specific goals from the start of the project and plan for it throughout all phases of the project
  • Assemble a team experienced in environmentally sound design and construction practices by including all goals and experience requirements in proposals and contract documents
  • Identify materials that can be salvaged and prioritize reuse wherever possible.
  • Monitor the progress of waste reduction efforts by requiring contractors to submit waste management plans and monthly waste reduction reports.
  • Specify locations to collect and store recyclables on-site

Designers and Contract Specification Writers

You can influence the process by supporting waste reduction efforts and working with owners and developers to identify cost and public relation benefits associated with waste reduction practices

  • Create clear, detailed requirements, listed plans and specifications for waste prevention, salvage, deconstruction and recycling

Construction Project Manager

You are charged with planning and implementing the waste reduction program.

  • 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?

Identify potential waste early in the design and decrease the amount of waste generated during construction to see cost savings.

Waste Reduction Methods

  • Develop and set waste prevention goals and include them in contract specifications.
  • Require reuse and salvage practices wherever possible
  • 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 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, such as returnable pallets or containers. Also require the supplier to take back or buy back any unused items.
  • Re-evaluate estimating procedures to make sure the correct amount of each material is obtained.

The County Eco Center – Reusable Construction Materials

There may be materials that have a greater value "as is" for salvage compared to their value as material for recycling. These materials may be valuable to reuse on-site, donated, or sold to a used building material retailer. These activities cut waste, reduce purchasing costs, and sometimes may bring in significant revenue or provide a tax benefit.

Recovery Methods

Reused materials may provide functional or aesthetic features not available in new materials.

  • Deconstruction: the careful dismantling of a whole structure
  • Selective Salvage: the removal of certain reusable building materials before demolition.

Materials in usable condition can be brought to the landfill Eco Center

The drop-off of reusable construction materials is completely free, unlike disposing of them like normal garbage. Residents can pick and choose any materials from the Eco Center to then use in their own future projects. This not only provides an incentive for builders to salvage materials but is also a resource for construction materials some residents may not be able to afford.

Reusable Building Materials
Architectural detailing
Brick and block
Doors & Windows
Lumber and timbers
Moldings and millwork
Plumbing and lighting fixtures
Structural steel

Recycling and Waste Minimization Guidelines

Below is a list of materials that can be recycled or reused. It is important to locate a recycling or reuse outlet prior to the start of the project.

  • 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.
  • Drywall
  • 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 scrap metal recycling.
    • Refrigerators and air conditioners contain Freon/Refrigerant 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.
  • Miscellaneous
    • 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.

Non-Recyclable Materials

The following materials require special handling due to health, safety and environmental hazards. For more information on proper disposal call the Division of Solid Waste Management at 778-2250.

  • 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

Below are some questions you will want to ask when you contact a hauler. See below for a listing of area haulers.

  • 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?

Recycling/Reuse Outlets

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 Broome County, or provide any assurances regarding the quality of services provided.

Area Haulers- Contact for service locations

Cardboard & Paper Recyclers

Wood Waste Recyclers

Scrap Metal Recyclers

Tree Branches & Brush

Battery Recycling

As of June 8, 2011 all retailers that sell rechargeable batteries are required to accept back the same type of rechargeable battery for recycling. Check with local retailers.

Reuse Outlets

An internet group that allows you to post unwanted items to "recycle" them to area residents. All items must be free.

Material exchange that includes several New York State counties. Materials are listed on the website with contact information.

For additional information or assistance

Contact the Division of Solid Waste at 607-778-2250.